The CBC Pollcast, hosted by CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier, explores the world of electoral politics, political polls and the trends they reveal.


The five federal byelections being held on Monday are not expected to be nail-biters. They are taking place in traditionally safe seats for the incumbent Conservatives and Liberals.

But there are still some things to watch for when the votes are counted.

The byelections are being held to fill the seats vacated by Stéphane Dion (Saint-Laurent), Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa–Vanier), John McCallum (Markham–Thornhill), Jason Kenney (Calgary Midnapore) and Stephen Harper (Calgary Heritage).

In the 2015 election, the closest contest of these (Markham–Thornhill) was still decided by a margin of 23 points — so a change in the seat count is not expected.

But there are a few questions that the byelections can help answer. Will the Liberals be hurt by the controversies surrounding the nomination processes in Markham–Thornhill and Saint-Laurent? Has the Conservative leadership race helped attract new support to the party, or has it put voters off? And will the NDP do better than the last byelection that was held, when the party finished with just one per cent of the vote?

Listen to the full discussion above — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast and listen to past episodes.

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