The Pollcast: Ontario PCs need a leader and quickly

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The CBC Pollcast explores the world of electoral politics, political polls and the trends they reveal.


The Ontario Progressive Conservatives need a new leader. And with just four months to go before Ontarians vote in the next provincial election, there isn’t much time.

The resignation of former leader Patrick Brown in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct has thrown the PCs into turmoil. But will the leadership campaign — which will end on March 10 — provide the party with an opportunity, or make things worse?

Three candidates are in the running.

Caroline Mulroney had a resume in the private sector that attracted the PCs enough to tout her as a star candidate for the 2018 provincial election, but apart from her acclamation as the candidate for the riding of York–Simcoe this will be Mulroney’s first political test. She is no stranger to politics, however — her father was prime minister from 1984 to 1993.

mulroney elliot

Ontario PC leadership candidates Caroline Mulroney, left, and Christine Elliott. (Caroline Mulroney, Patrick Morrell/CBC)

Christine Elliott has the most experience in provincial politics of the three contestants, being a former MPP who sat at Queen’s Park for nearly 10 years. She has also run for the Ontario PC leadership twice before, including in the 2015 leadership campaign that ended with Brown’s victory.

Another candidate with political experience is Doug Ford, though this is his first foray onto the provincial scene. Ford is a former Toronto councillor who ran for the mayor’s office (losing to former PC leader John Tory) in 2014 after his late brother Rob stepped aside for health reasons.

To break down the race, Pollcast host Éric Grenier is joined by the CBC’s Meagan Fitzpatrick and Mike Crawley from Toronto.

Listen to the full discussion above — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast here and listen to past episodes.​

Follow Éric Grenier, Meagan Fitzpatrick and Mike Crawley on Twitter.

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