The Pollcast: Saskatchewan's shifting political landscape

Both the governing Saskatchewan Party and the opposition New Democrats are searching for new leaders. Regina Leader-Post columnist Murray Mandryk joins Pollcast host Eric Grenier to discuss Saskatchewan's latest political developments.

Host Éric Grenier is joined by Regina Leader-Post columnist Murray Mandryk

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall will be stepping down to make way for his replacement, when he or she is chosen. (The Canadian Press/Mark Taylor)

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

Brad Wall's announcement that he would be stepping down as premier of Saskatchewan means the province is experiencing a major shift in its political landscape, as both the governing and opposition parties are now in the midst of leadership races.

And while the next provincial election isn't scheduled until 2020, a test of the government's flagging popularity will come soon in a Saskatoon byelection on Sept. 7.

A number of candidates have already stepped forward or expressed an interest in taking on the leadership of Wall's Saskatchewan Party. Cabinet minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor was the first to throw her hat in the ring, while fellow ministers Gordon Wyant, Kevin Doherty, Jim Reiter and Ken Cheveldayoff, as well as Conservative MP Brad Trost, are mulling bids.

The date of the leadership race will be announced in the coming weeks.

The New Democrats will select their new leader in May. Two candidates are currently in the running, both familiar faces. Ryan Meili is taking his third kick at the can, after narrowly losing the party's 2013 contest. Trent Wotherspoon, in his second leadership bid, announced his candidacy earlier this week.

Adding to the summer's political drama in Saskatchewan is the byelection in Saskatoon Fairview, a tough challenge for the government. The Saskatchewan Party's Jennifer Campeau won the riding in last year's election by just three points.

With polls showing the Saskatchewan Party and NDP neck-and-neck — little more than a year after Wall defeated the New Democrats by 32 points — the riding could swing over to the opposition.

To help breakdown the province's shifting political sands, Pollcast host Éric Grenier is joined by Murray Mandryk, political columnist with the Regina Leader-Post.

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

Follow Éric Grenier and Murray Mandryk on Twitter.


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