Sunday, September 10, 2017

Leadership 2017 Candidate Rankings - September 10

No, there isn't any change in this week's rankings compare to last week's positioning. But I'll post nonetheless to discuss how the candidates performed in today's debate, and how that looks to set up the balance of the campaign.

1. Jagmeet Singh (1)

While some different metrics continue to point in various directions, all candidates seem to be operating based on the premise that Singh is ahead of the pack at this point. And today, he was able both to respond to other candidates' challenges when they arose, and to find some useful contrasts against Charlie Angus as the strongest apparent competitor. (Most notably, a stronger position on harm reduction and decriminalization than Angus was willing to offer may help Singh to win down-ballot support.)

The one possible misfire on Singh's part was a closing statement oriented solely toward identifying target regions - which seems unlikely to be new to anybody already leaning his way, while raising more questions than answers with voters looking for a core message based on principle rather than political calculation.

2. Charlie Angus (2)

That makes for a particularly unhelpful contrast in light of Angus' closing statement, which capped an effective overall performance with a strong message about his motivations and values.

Angus carried out an ideal strategy for a second-place contender looking to both extend the campaign by challenging the front-runner, and ensure that he doesn't get overtaken from behind. And in particular, conciliatory themes toward both Guy Caron and Niki Ashton may help to limit the prospect that they or their supporters will decide to reject both frontrunners.

3. Guy Caron (3)

Once again, the main basis for my ranking between the remaining two candidates is Caron's room for growth on later ballots. There 's at least a foreseeable path to victory based on the other candidates' apparent bases of support if Caron is perceived as the most progressive remaining option to Ashton voters choosing among the other three candidates, then the more grassroots-friendly option to Angus supporters on a final ballot against Singh.

4. Niki Ashton (4)

Finally, the key late-campaign problems for Ashton are minimal public growth at a point when all of the other candidates can claim substantially more public momentum, and the lack of a clear path to appeal for final-ballot support against either Singh or Angus. And while I'd still consider her a relative favourite to claim third place on the first ballot, it's looking more plausible that Caron may be able to pass her on that front.

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