It has been two months since my last official projections for the leadership race of the Conservative party. Back then I was only using the (limited) fundraising data from Q1. Since then, we have got a Mainstreet poll of the members (not the voters; although their list is of the 2020 membership and we know Poilievre and Brown signed up a lot of people since) as well as the data from Google Trends.

For the last one, I understand many of you might think it's completely irrelevant but having played a lot with this data, I found that it would have done a fairly decent job in 2020. MacKay was underestimated and Lewis was overestimated, but overall, it was fine. Much better than a poll of voters for instance. It'd also have predicted the victory of Brown against Elliott for the Ontario PC in 2015.

The best metric remains the fundraising and we unfortunately won't have the Q2 figures until early August. So, for now, let's just use a mix of all the data sources we currently have. I feel fairly confident doing so because they all show the same result: Poilievre winning, most likely on the first ballot. If you think leadership races are unpredictable, especially when they use a weird points system (like it is the case here), think again. I have been very successful in previous races, whether it was for the CPC or the PQ for instance. Fundraising is a really good metric. Yes it's harder to be accurate than for a typical election but it's far from impossible.

Here are the projections. Brown is at 0% since he got disqualified (and I doubt he'll be able to force his way back in, judicially or politically). I have redistributed his votes based on the Mainstreet's second choices. I did assume that only 75% of his voters would ultimately cast a ballot though.

As I've said previously, Poilievre winning on the first ballot is the outcome of every single metric except the Q1 fundraising where he gets 48% (remove Brown and he likely gets over 50% though). We could also do some quick calculations using the membership numbers and get Poilievre closer to 70% actually. Bottom line: this race is over and Poilievre will win.

I honestly get a little bit tired of the many empty articles I see from various news outlets telling us "anything is possible" or "it's unpredictable". It's a crystal clear race, people who try to argue it's open or, worse, pretend Brown or Charest are leading are just delusional or idiots. The Charest campaign has spent weeks gaslighting us that it "wasn't about the numbers" and that they had the "points to win it". Look I get it, you need to do your PR job but this is embarrassing. Charest isn't winning, period. Before Brown got disqualified, Charest wasn't even sure to finish second. Many people (pundits, etc) will look stupid on September 10th.

Could Poilievre's vote be inefficient? Sure but the numbers his campaign released actually point to a fairly efficient vote distribution with, in particular, a high proportion of his members in points-rich Quebec. This isn't like Lewis in 2020. And even if it were, the difference between her percentage of votes (35% after the second ballot) and percentages of points (30%) wasn't that big (and it was the biggest of all campaigns in 2017 and 2020 combined). Also, as opposed to MacKay in 2020, Poilievre would always count on the second votes from Baber and Lewis. Unless all the metrics are wrong and Poilievre is below 40% of the first ballot, he's winning.

I'll build a model with simulations to get some probabilities in the next few weeks (to use with the Q2 fundraising data) but this is a race with very little uncertainty. And if you think the Poilievre campaign won't get its vote out, think again. It has been a very professional campaign that ahs run very efficiently. They aren't dropping the ball now.

Finally, I'd like to address the claim that a Poilievre's victory will just push a lot of centrist/moderate/Red Tories to the Liberals (or not to vote). While I do agree Poilievre winning will indeed upset some, every single data source we have has shown this impact to be small (max 15% of CPC voters dislike Poilievre) while a Charest win would upset as much as 40-50% of the CPC members and voters. There is simply no question that the Canadian Right has found its champion (similarly to how the Left found its in Trudeau) and it's Poilievre. You can dislike it, you can hate the increased polarization, but it's simply the truth. so there as well, feel free to express your discontent but don't make up stuff by pretending a Poilievre's victory would split the party. His victory is actually the only one that can unite the Right. Whether that will be enough to win in 2025 is a completely different question though.