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‘Great big yawn fest,’ star candidates sitting out Conservative leadership race, fear losing next election: insiders

By Abbas Rana      

'Stephen Harper became prime minister of a G8 country for 10 years because he took that risk. We don’t have many risk takers out there today,' said one party insider.

Five Conservative MPs, including Kellie Leitch, Maxime Bernier, Deepak Obhrai, Tony Clement, and Michael Chong are declared leadership candidates for the contest scheduled for May 2017. Conservative MPs Michelle Rempel and Lisa Raitt are considering a run. Former justice minister Peter MacKay, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, and businessman Kevin O'Leary are also said to be considering a run for the top job in the Conservative Party. The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright

Some Conservative insiders say the party’s federal leadership contest is a “great big yawn fest” because there are no exciting or inspirational declared candidates and most don’t expect one to enter the current contest as they believe the Liberals will win the next federal election and say the real leadership contest will take place after the 2019 election.

Singh’s strong campaign an internal win, whatever the outcome, New Democrats say

Jagmeet Singh’s impressive campaign has ‘rescued’ and ‘refocused’ the NDP after the failed 2015 effort, Ed Broadbent says.

The astrophysicist whose polling aggregator is projecting the election

News|By Neil Moss
The mastermind behind 338Canada, poll aggregator Philippe Fournier, is aiming to correctly call 90 per cent of the seats in the Oct. 21 race.

Transition teams must be prepared for ‘unpredictable outcomes’ in minority situation, say former senior bureaucrats

News|By Mike Lapointe
The 'essence of clerkness' is continuity of government, says former PCO clerk Mel Cappe, who says he's 'strongly advised' current PCO clerk Ian Shugart to reach out to Andrew Scheer's team.

Preliminary data shows nearly 3 million tuned in to French debate, more than double 2015’s ratings

The viewership for the Leaders' Debates Commission's French debate was more than double the viewership for the TVA debate, preliminary data shows, and higher than the 2015 French consortium event.

‘It’s definitely in the top quadrant’: election campaign one of dirtiest in recent history, say political insiders

News|By Abbas Rana
This campaign is not defined by any overarching issue, and has become ‘personal’ and ‘ugly’ between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, says pollster and Ipsos president Darrell Bricker.

‘They’re really riled up here’: Conservatives circling Goodale’s lone Liberal seat in Saskatchewan

‘The numbers are holding very closely to what they were last time. It all depends on turnout,’ says the 31-year MP Ralph Goodale. 

Candidates scramble to outperform their competitors in the critical ground game ahead of next week’s election

News|By Abbas Rana
Liberal MP Ken Hardie says his team has set up get-out-the-vote ground operations in the riding to get all his supporters to the polling booths on election day.

Debt, deficit ‘not ballot booth issues’ for most Canadians: pollsters

Unlike in the last election, none of the major party leaders has promised to try and balance the budget within a four year mandate during this campaign.

If it’s a minority government, Liberals can stay in power even if Conservatives win more seats on Oct. 21, but could prompt public backlash

'Does that create a legitimacy question, for Trudeau to combine with Singh, or not? There’s no legal impediment to it,' says former CBC Parliament Hill bureau chief Elly Alboim.
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