How They Stand

It’s been hard to get any kind of quantitative read on how the candidates stack up in the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race to date. Gerard Kennedy may be leading the polls among Ontarians, Sandra Pupatello may be winning the endorsement race, and Kathleen Wynne may have raised more money dough than anyone else, but none of those numbers give us anything more than a hint of how rank and file Liberals will vote at the delegate selection meetings this weekend.

What may provide more insight into how much support the contenders actually have are the number of Liberals running to be delegates for each candidate. Those numbers were leaked to the Toronto Star Monday night, and they make a lot of intuitive sense:

Wynne 1533
Pupatello 1281
Kennedy 846
Sousa 778
Hoskins 714
Murray 461
Takhar 456

This leadership race is following the same format as the 2006 federal race (albeit under a much, much shorter timeline), and it should be noted that the number of people running as delegates was the variable most strongly correlated to first ballot support in that contest (r = 0.96 for you math nerds) – even more so than polls among party members. It’s not an exact measurement – in ’06 Bob Rae did far better than his “Form 6″ totals suggested he would – but it certainly gives us an idea of how the contest is shapping up.

And that shape confirms what most have suspected for a while – Wynne and Pupatello are out in front, but neither of them are likely to crack 30% on the first ballot, leaving those in the pack well positioned for a Dion-esque or McGuinty-esque convention charge. The only real surprise from Monday is Eric Hoskins, who has gone from the presumed 7th place finisher to a legitimate challenger – if his support translates into delegates this weekend.

But the picture is still fuzzy and will likely stay fuzzy until after the delegate selection meetings, at which point we’ll have a much better idea of how creative the math needs to get for each candidate to chart their path to victory.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in 2013 OLP Leadership Race, Ontario Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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11 Responses to How They Stand

  1. Jordan

    I had gotten the impression since the beginning, basically from media and what not, that Hoskins was probably in fourth place and would have a fairly good finish. I didn’t realize that you, and obviously others, saw his chances as so low.

    Any idea who the candidates will support when they drop off? I remember hearing that Takhar was set to endorse Pupatello before he decided to run.

    Many people consider Murray to be on the left in the party, will he support Wynne then?

    • CalgaryGrit

      Hoskins has gotten good media play, but the early reports had him well behind everyone else in new membership sales which is why I’d written him off (prematurely, obviously). His team deserves full marks for a well run campaign.

      Looks like you nailed Murray to Wynne.

      Takhar to Pupatello is the worst kept secret of the race.

      Hoskins to Kennedy would make intuitive sense given the types of Liberals they appeal to, but a lot obviously depends on how the math looks at the convention.

  2. SD

    I don’t think the left-right ideological aspect will matter so much when candidates drop off the ballot and select another candidate to support.

    • CalgaryGrit

      So true! Bevilacqua supported Bob Rae when he dropped out in ’06, after all.

    • Marc from soccer

      Agreed. Could see Sousa going to Wynne or Kennedy more so than Pupatello.

      If Sousa/Hoskins combine supporters, they are the kingmakers.

      • Marc from soccer

        The question will be – will not having served with Kennedy mean they drift his way, or Sousa and Hoskins go with the person they know in Wynne?

  3. nbpolitico

    Dan – any plans to model this as you modeled the 2006 federal leadership here: http://calgarygrit.blogspot.com/2006/08/leadership-projections.html ?

    • CalgaryGrit

      I would love to, because the ’06 model worked really well and should only be better now given the experience from that race.

      The problem is really the timeframe. This race is just too compact to do it well – if I set it up this week, it would be essentially obsolute the next.

      But I’m looking to do something similar for the federal race. The shift to the supporter system is a new wrinkle, but I think I can still come up with a reasonable power ranking.

  4. Brian from Toronto

    I don’t watch Ontario Liberals that closely. My impression is that both Wynn and Kennedy are on the left of the party; Pupatello more of a would-be populist.

    Is that right?

    • CalgaryGrit

      I’d say the perception is that Wynne/Kennedy/Hoskins are more left and Puptatello/Sousa/Takhar are more right.

      But I really doubt you’d see significant differences between their platforms. I think a lot of those perceptions come more from their backgrounds and portfolios they’ve had than real policy differences.

  5. Pingback: Getting Dumped | Calgary Grit

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