The Pollcast: Wide open races on the Prairies

On the latest episode of The Pollcast, pollster Andrew Enns and strategist Sally Housser break down the electoral battlegrounds of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

How the federal electoral landscape looks in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals won eight seats in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the 2015 federal election and will be looking to hold them in October's vote. (Matt Smith/Canadian Press)

There aren't a lot of swing seats on the Prairies, but if October's federal election ends up being close those few hotly-contested ridings in Saskatchewan and Manitoba could play an outsized role.

And with less than four months to go before the vote, the Prairies are looking like a place where the Conservatives can make gains — putting the Liberals and New Democrats on the defensive.

Across the two provinces, the Conservatives won 15 seats in the last election. The party dominated the southern rural ridings in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but were pushed out of the urban seats in Winnipeg. Seven of the eight seats in the city went to the Liberals, with the other one going to the NDP.

The New Democrats also won the two northern, largely-Indigenous ridings and one seat in each of Regina and Saskatoon.

But the Conservatives are up in the polls on the Prairies, with the Liberals down significantly in Manitoba and the NDP in Saskatchewan. That puts the two parties' urban seats in danger of flipping.

To break it all down on this week's episode of The Pollcast, host and CBC polls analyst Éric Grenier is joined by Andrew Enns, president of the NRG Research Group and a pollster who has worked with the federal Conservatives and Manitoba PCs, and Sally Housser, an NDP strategist and former deputy director of communications for the Manitoba NDP.

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

In case you missed it, on last week's episode Tim Murphy, former chief of staff to Paul Martin and campaign co-chair for the Ontario Liberals, Melanie Paradis, director of candidate support communications for the Conservative Party and Kathleen Monk, former director of strategic communications under NDP leader Jack Layton, gave their takes on the seats that are up for grabs in Ontario.

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