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Available Expert - Comparing and contrasting the two federal leadership races

Monday, January 9, 2017

Queen's University political historian Christo Aivalis is available to provide analysis on the apparent enthusiasm gap between the two ongoing federal party leadership campaigns. While the Conservative Party race has attracted a large field of candidates, only one potential NDP leadership candidate has officially registered with Elections Canada to date. The Conservative race is set to conclude with a vote on May 27, 2017, with the first round of NDP leadership votes being cast on October 1.

"At this stage there isn't strictly a rush," says Dr. Aivalis. "The (next federal) election isn't until 2019. With this in mind, there may be a feeling that jumping in now isn't needed."

Dr. Aivalis points to the continuing popularity of the Trudeau Liberals as a potential limiting factor in the NDP race so far - suggesting that candidates may be wary of entering a race in the face of a popular PM. The third-place seating of the NDP may also play a limiting role, as the next party leader will not take on the role of Leader of the Opposition and "Prime Minister in Waiting." Dr. Aivalis suggests that the race may start to pick up as the number of candidates in the Conservative leadership race diminishes.

"If NDPers hold off their campaigns until the CPC field has winnowed down, they may find themselves with more of the media pie," he explains.

Dr. Christo Aivalis is an adjunct professor of Canadian Political and Labour History at Queen's University. He has commented extensively in the past on the NDP leadership, public sector labour negotiations and federal party politics.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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