The Pollcast: Manitoba's NDP leadership race comes to an acrimonious close

The Manitoba NDP will choose its new leader on Saturday, ending a rancorous leadership race that might have an impact on federal politics. Pollcast host Éric Grenier is joined by the CBC's Cameron MacIntosh to discuss.

Host Éric Grenier is joined by the CBC's Cameron MacIntosh

Steve Ashton, left, and Wab Kinew are the two candidates for the leadership of the Manitoba NDP. (CBC)

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

New Democrats in Manitoba will be voting in two leadership races this month. The first one, choosing a new leader for the provincial party, comes to a close on Saturday.

And that vote, pitting current MLA Wab Kinew against former MLA Steve Ashton, could have repercussions that will be felt in the federal NDP's leadership race.

Kinew, a former musician, CBC broadcaster and university administrator, as well as a powerful voice within the Indigenous community, was first elected as an MLA in 2016, when the New Democrats were handed a defeat that ended 17 years in office.

Kinew is the front-runner to become the Manitoba NDP's next leader, having elected the most delegates for the leadership convention this weekend.

Ashton, who has run for the Manitoba NDP leadership twice before and was a cabinet minister in the governments of both Gary Doer and Greg Selinger, represents the left wing of the party. He's also the father of Niki Ashton, one of four candidates for the leadership of the federal NDP.

Steve Ashton's campaign has ruffled a few feathers within the NDP and that has had an impact on Niki Ashton's chances in the province, where more than 10,000 members will be eligible to vote in the federal race. She has fewer backers from current and former elected officials in the province than leadership rivals Charlie Angus and Guy Caron. 

Kinew, meanwhile, has backed (and has the backing of) Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh for the federal leadership. 

A successful outcome for Kinew could bode well for Singh's odds of taking a big share of the membership's vote in Manitoba.

To discuss how the Manitoba NDP's leadership campaign has unfolded — as well as the campaign for the Manitoba Liberals' top job — Pollcast host Éric Grenier is joined by Winnipeg-based CBC reporter Cameron MacIntosh.

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

Follow Éric Grenier and Cameron MacIntosh on Twitter.