Liberal Leadership Pool

Who will cross the finish line first?
While a Justin Trudeau cakewalk in the Liberal leadership race doesn’t seem quite as inevitable as it did two weeks ago, most pundits still regard his win as inevitable. However, while discussing the relative strengths of the Coyne and Takach campaigns over drinks last week, it occurred to me there’s a fair amount of intrigue as you move down the ballot. Kind of like betting whether the Marxist-Leninists can beat the Animal Alliance in your riding.

With that in mind, I present the ultimate test for policos – the Calgary Grit Liberal Leadership Pool. All you need to predict is the first ballot rank of the candidates, who will win, how many ballots it will go, and what percentage of the vote Justin Trudeau will receive on the first ballot. So, for example, your entry might, but likely won’t, look like:

1. Bertschi
2. Trudeau (31% on first ballot)
3. Murray (winner on third ballot)
4. Findlay
5. Takach
6. Coyne
7. Garneau

If you think someone is going to drop out before the votes are counted, then don’t include them on your list. For scoring, you’ll get 2 points for every candidate correctly ranked, 1 point if you’re off their rank by one spot, and -1 points if you list them on the ballot and they don’t make it to voting day. Toss in 5 bonus points for the correct winner, 2 for the right number of ballots, and up to 3 points depending how close you are to Trudeau’s vote share.

To enter, write down your picks in the comments section or e-mail them to me at You can enter until Christmas Day, but the tie-break will be whoever submits their entry first.

And the tie-break matters because the winner’s prize will be an assortment of candidate memorabilia. I’ve already picked buttons up from George Takach and Martha Hall Findlay events, but this collection will grow as the campaign progresses.

If you want to do a bit of background research on your entries, feel free to check out my Liberal Party leadership portal for information, news, and contact information for the 6 official and 5 declared leadership candidates.

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30 responses to “Liberal Leadership Pool”

  1. 1. Trudeau (49% on the first ballot, winner on the second ballot)
    2. Garneau
    3. Murray
    4. Findlay
    5. Coyne
    6. Takach
    7. Bertschi

  2. I really don’t know, could we change our predictions closer to the convention? 🙂

    Trudeau – 38%
    Garneau – 23%
    Hall Findlay – 17%
    Murray – 9%
    Coyne – 8%
    Bertschi – 7%
    Takach – 6%
    Burton – 1%
    McCrimmon – 1%

    I think Trudeau will win on the third ballot. However, I think it’s quite possible that either Garneau or Hall Findlay could beat him, but that will depend on performances over the coming months. I think a third ballot for any candidate to win will be necessary.

    As well think it’s very likely Burton and McCrimmon will be gone, I actually did not have the later included first. As well I think all others who have mentioned running won’t make it till April.

    I don’t even want to click add comment because I hate being wrong. 🙂

  3. Also you should look at setting up an online poll that would have a ballot that would be the same as the one the party will use. 🙂

  4. Another note. Now that I’m looking at the process of how the leader will be selected again it seems as though there could be a lot of ballots, unless the leading candidate is very close to 50% on the first ballot. I’m not positive but it seems as though if a candidate makes it to the voting they can’t drop off after each ballot is announced, but only be eliminated. Therefore if the two bottom candidates have say 1% and 2% of the points they can’t put Trudeau over the top if he doesn’t have like 48% of the vote.

    Does anyone get what I’m saying, if so can you clarify?

    • I think you might be correct. So, yes, Trudeau could hit 45% on the first ballot and still need 3 or 4 “ballots” to win this thing. Especially if many of the fringe candidates find the 75k to run.

      • I think the NDP process , whereby they can choose to vote during the convention and a candidate can drop off and support some else, is better. At least that way a member or supporter can take into account their favourite candidate’s choice.

        I think it adds the excitement of a delegated convention, just in a more democratic way.

        • It is a preferential ballot, see page 46 of the Liberal Constitution (link here:

          63(5) …
          (c) On the second count, the leadership contestant who received the least points on the first national count is eliminated and that leadership contestant’s first count ballots are distributed in each electoral district among the remaining leadership contestants according to the second preferences indicated and counted according to the procedure set out in Subparagraph 63(5)(a)(i) as if they were first preference votes.
          (d) On each subsequent count, the leadership contestant who received the least votes in the preceding count is eliminated, and that leadership contestant’s ballots are distributed among the remaining leadership contestants according to the next preferences indicated.
          (e) The first leadership contestant to receive more than 50% of the points allocated on any national count is selected as the Leader.

  5. Jordan…hate to break it to you.
    There is NO convention.. votes will be tabulated by computer almost instantly.
    No dropping out no crossing floor.

  6. Trudeau – 35%
    Garneau – 28%
    Hall Findlay – 9%
    Murray – 15%
    Coyne – 3%
    Bertschi – 3%
    Takach – 3%
    Burton – 2%
    McCrimmon – 2%

    I think Murray and Hall Findlay throw their support to Garneau, and he takes it on the 3rd/4th ballot.

    • They can’t throw their support behind Garneau. Nor would it seem possible for a candidate to win on a third ballot if they’re only at 35% on the first ballot. The bottom 5 candidates in your ratings, and there are mistakes in mine, only account for 13%, so it seems they would all need to be dropped off one at a time. If that is true your scenario would mean at least 6 ballots. Unless candidates can willing drop off, instead of just being eliminated, when they choose. That’s the part I need to understand.

      Is it possible for instance that even if Garneau is ahead of MHF that he could drop off after a certain ballot because he thinks his second choices could put her over the top, but he doesn’t think hers will put him over the top?

  7. We’re forgetting it’s a point driven system. A candidate could have 40% of the votes and receive 51% of the points on the first ballot and that’s it, game over.

    Points, not votes, needs to be taken into consideration when calculating ranking (candidates will be ranked based on points), the number ballots and who will win.

  8. What I can predict is that persons unknown will play havoc with the online voting machinery. Did you think the NDP foul-up was a flash in the pan? This time the mechanics will be serious.

    Trudeau will take it on the first ballot, or else on the second ballot, 48 hours later.

  9. First ballot will have Trudeau at around 42% and he will grow very slow to the final ballot when he will win. So I suppose:

    1 – Trudeau (42%)
    2 – Garneau
    3 – Findlay
    4 – Murray (will drop before balloting)
    5 – Coyne
    6 – Bertschi
    7 – Takach (will drop before balloting)
    8 – McKrimmon (will drop before balloting)

  10. I’m not prepared to make any binding predictions – there are still over four months left to go yet, for heaven’s sake!!!

  11. Lol, if instead of working out your preferential ballot, you had picked up a phone book, you could have recruited 2 or 3 supporters for the Liberal party, and your EDA. If all these commenters had done likewise, they could have recruited maybe 1 or 2 each. You might have had some equally interesting conversations too. As for me, I am pretty good on the phones, I could have recruited maybe 4 or 5 in the hour I have just spent cruising around various blogs. I wonder why I have never been called or approached by a single Liberal Organiser since I became a supporter a week after the category was created… So where is the Liberal Party???

  12. With a preferential ballot, the big question is how polarizing Justin Trudeau is to Liberals. Obviously Trudeau is the front-runner, but I suspect his support is not evenly spread around the country. If a lot of it is in Quebec, the regional point system will work against him.

    What helps Trudeau is that, as far as I can guess, Garneau is organizationally his strongest challenger. Garneau strikes me as a poor anybody-but-Trudeau frontman – especially since a lot of the voters will be folks with minimal commitment to the Liberal party, and since a lot of his support is in Quebec as well.

    If somebody like Martha Hall Findlay (I could see a lot of people liking her, without necessarily loving. If Trudeau is polarizing among voters, that could be enough) built up sufficient name recognition, she could be a real challenge.

    • Garneau is not a poor candidate, not in any rational sense! He’s a household name, and has an extraordinary resumé.

      As for getting support from people with minimal commitment to the Liberal party, isn’t it a huge part of the reasoning behind the new leader selection system to do exactly that? To bring back the disaffected, and get new support from people who have never been directly involved before? If you view that as a negative, you must be many times more concerned about Trudeau – how many of his hundred thousand Twitter followers are committed Liberal Party activists?

      • My point is that Garneau is way behind Trudeau, despite near-universal name recognition. That’s problematic for his candidacy. It is always costlier to reinvent one’s image than it is to introduce oneself.

        And I don’t get your point about Twitter – that’s a measure of the breadth of Trudeau’s support, and this is a race about breadth. Garneau’s organizational strengths could conceivably have helped him if this was a race like 2006, but they won’t.

        Having looked at some numbers (, I will revise what I said about Hall Findlay before, however. It looks like she has 49% name recognition, yet is at 3%. That is worse than Garneau, who is at 16% despite 73% name recognition.

        And if most primary voters are LPC voters, Trudeau registers a 60-20 lead, with only 12% saying “I don’t know”. To me it is looking like a Paul Martin-style nomination race.

  13. Ooh, a difficult task, given that the rules government supporter participation are up in the air (to my knowledge).

    Anyway, here is my mainly ignorant guess:

    1. Trudeau (38%)
    2. and 3. Garneau (20% each)
    4 and 5. Coyne / Murray (11% each)

    Trudeau benefits most if Murray drops off first (1st ballot). Garneau or Findley gets the most of the Coyne supporters (2nd ballot). I’m going to take a wild guess that Findley drops off on the third ballot, and her supporters mainly go to Garneau on the fourth ballot.

    Final guess: Garneau wins on fourth ballot by getting more of the “economic substance” vote.

  14. Ballot #1
    1. Trudeau
    2. Garneau
    3. Murray
    4. Findlay
    5. Takach
    6. Coyne
    7. Bertschi


    1. Trudeau winning on 2nd
    2. Murray climbs to 2nd place as 2nd place fave.
    3. Garneau not appealing to women he is a military man
    4. MHF she did not win her own riding but increased her profile since last place finish last time.

  15. 1. Trudeau, 38% on first ballot
    2. Hall Findlay
    3. Murray
    4. Garneau
    5. Cauchon
    6. Takach
    7. Coyne
    8. McCrimmon

    Martha Hall Findlay takes it on the 4th ballot. (to be honest, I think it’s more probable that Trudeau will win but I’m trying to be positive.)

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