The Pollcast: The impact of Peter MacKay's decision not to run

Peter MacKay's decision not to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party leaves the race wide open. Who can take advantage? Host Éric Grenier is joined by Conservative insiders Tim Powers and Chad Rogers to discuss.

Host Éric Grenier is joined by Conservative insiders Tim Powers and Chad Rogers

Conservative leadership contestants (from left to right): Michael Chong, Kellie Leitch, Maxime Bernier, Tony Clement, and Deepak Obhrai. (The Canadian Press)

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

The Conservative leadership race was shaken up this week when Peter MacKay, a former cabinet minister and the last leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives, decided he would stay out.

He would have been seen as the front runner had he decided instead to throw his hat into the ring. But now that both MacKay and Jason Kenney — who is running for the leadership of the Alberta PCs — have ruled out a bid, the leadership race has been blown wide open.

Ontario MPs Michael Chong, Tony Clement, and Kellie Leitch, Quebec MP Maxime Bernier and Alberta MP Deepak Obhrai are official contestants for the leadership.

Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost, former Ontario MP Pierre Lemieux and Toronto-area consultant Adrienne Snow have all declared their intentions to run. Former Speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer has stepped down as the Conservative House leader, freeing him up for a run of his own.

And the list of contestants will likely not end there — it could grow to include Ontario MPs Lisa Raitt and Erin O'Toole, and businessman Kevin O'Leary, among others.

Back on the Pollcast with host Éric Grenier this week to wade through the growing list of leadership candidates are Conservative insiders Tim Powers of Summa Strategies and Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy.

We check in with Tim Powers and Chad Rogers to discuss the Conservative leadership race.

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

Past episodes with Chad Rogers and Tim Powers on the conservative leadership race:

Follow Éric Grenier, Chad Rogers, and Tim Powers on Twitter.