Bernier, Clement Lead Conservative Leadership Race

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Bernier, Clement Lead Conservative Leadership Race

Clement preferred by Conservative voters

In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1345 Canadian voters, one tenth each selected Maxime Bernier (11%) and Tony Clement (10%) from the list of five currently declared candidates for the Conservative Party leadership. The leading choice made is “someone else” (28%) and as many as 4-in-10 don’t offer an opinion (40%). Michael Chong is third choice (6%), and few select either Kellie Leitch or Deepak Obhrai (3% and 2%, respectively).  Bernier is the prohibitive favourite in Quebec (29%) but has relatively little support elsewhere. By contrast, Tony Clement has less prominent, but more evenly distributed support.

Among Conservative supporters, however, Tony Clement clearly leads among the five (18%), followed by Maxime Bernier (10%). Fewer are unable to choose a candidate 27%).

Among the small sample of those who claim to be Conservative Party members (n=99), and thus have an actual say in the leadership contest, Maxime Bernier leads (14%), followed by Tony Clement (12%) and Kellie Leitch (7%). “Someone else” is still the favoured choice of 3-in-10 (30%), but, once again, there are fewer “don’t knows” than among the general population (27%).

“When we subtract the bright shiny objects like Peter MacKay and Kevin O’Leary from the equation, the Conservative race becomes clearer. A preference measure at this stage of the campaign is more a name recognition exercise than anything else, but, nonetheless, Maxime Bernier has done a very successful job of differentiating himself with some interesting policy. If Tony Clement is the establishment candidate, Bernier may be seen as the radical in this race. We have to keep in mind, though, that close to a third of the electorate, and the party, is waiting for someone else to support for leader" said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.