New PC leadership poll out shows some stunning numbers: http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1656671
The NP shows it as being Elliot 35%, Hudak 24%, Hillier 22%, and Klees 20%, with 43% undecided.
If these numbers are true, this would seem to blow the established dynamic out of the water, with Elliot leaping past Hudak, and Hillier being massive underestimated along with Klees being overestimated.
Perez Hudak has a different take: http://www.perezhudak.com/index.php?e=125
Perez Hudak heard the actual Ipsos-Reid release shows a lot of undecided voters (43%), and a lot who wouldn't indicate a second-ballot choice (23%).
As well, the horse race numbers being reported are an averaging of first and second ballot preferences for each candidate. 35% of PC supporters would select Christine Elliott in their top-two choices, 19% as their first choice and 28% as their second.Twenty-four per cent would choose Tim Hudak on their top two ballots, 13% on the first and 18% on the second. Randy Hillier is given 22% per cent average support, getting 14% on the first ballot and 14% second ballot support. And finally 20% of Tory supporters would choose Frank Klees as one of their top-two choices, with 11% first choice support and 17% second choice support.
This would demonstrate a closer race, and with the dynamics of 43% of voters undecided, a lot is still up in the air. We can maybe draw something from the spin of the Hudak's campaign statement:
This latest poll confirms that our Party still has lots of work ahead to get ready for the next provincial election. It states that our Party trails the Liberals by 13 percent. 43% of people who identify themselves as Progressive Conservative voters were unsure of who they would even vote for in this leadership race. Clearly, this demonstrates the work that needs to be done by our Party in terms of our Opposition presence and recognition.
(That they comment on this second shows that to a degree at least, they recognize the validity of the poll, rather than dismissing it out-right)
With respect to this latest poll, it is important to note that the poll did not survey actual members of our Party; it only surveyed people who indicated that they would vote for our Party if a provincial election were held today. Most of the research was taken before the May 14th membership cut-off. And Ipsos-Reid admits in its press release that because they did not have access to the Party membership lists, the poll is not intended to be predictive of the actual voting PC membership.
(With a poll based off likely PC voters as opposed to members, we could maybe draw some conclusions. Perhaps they hit a Toronto heavy sample of more moderate PC voters as opposed to pro-Hudak rural/suburban Common Sense Revolutionaries. Perhaps amongst the general population (even a PC-likely population) Elliot has higher name recognition than Hudak due to both her aggressive media campaign and the fact her husband is Jim Flaherty.)
The rest of the statement are the standard shows of strength of the campaign, they have the most endorsements, claim to have signed up the most members, have the best ground game, etc.
Regardless of how accurate this poll turns out to be, for now, at least, it feeds the narrative that Hudak has lost his edge and Elliot is on the offensive.