Forum Research has some advice for the Ontario PCs:
“We have identified Christine Elliott as the best leader for the PCs well before this,” said Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff stated, adding the Whitby-Oshawa MPP would be a “formidable” opponent to Premier Kathleen Wynne.
“She is a centrist candidate . . . that’s why she does well, because she can appeal to a broader spectrum,” he told the Star.
If you scroll further down in the article it actually shows Christine Elliot to be slightly ahead, just within the margin of error, of Lisa Raitt. The difference between Elliot and supposed no-hoper Lisa MacLeod is seven points. This in a poll for a leadership race that won't end until Spring 2015. But the President of Forum Research is confident that Jim Flaherty's widow is a "formidable" candidate. Based on what? Polling a mere 33% among Ontario voters? Has Mr Bozinoff heard of the term "name recognition?"
If you recognize the name Forum Research take the gold star. Back in late 2013 this self-same company botched a survery of the Brandon-Souris by-election. They suggested the Liberal candidate had a thirty point lead, when in fact he would go onto lose by less than two points. It isn't just that the math didn't add up, it's that the results defied common sense. The riding had been Tory blue for years. Yet they went with it anyway.
Assuming that these leadership numbers are reasonably correct, a big assumption considering the source, the results still show a wide open field with half a dozen viable candidates. It doesn't show Christine Elliot as inevitable or centrist or formidable or anything else. She's a modest front runner with lots of experience and good name recognition. Typically it's the hacks, flacks and bloggers who handle spin. Apparently Forum Research is vying to be a full service provider.