A group of voters from Winnipeg swing ridings didn’t mince words when describing the leaders of three parties vying for their approval in a provincial election campaign that officially starts Tuesday.
They called them “elitist,” “out-of-touch” and “inexperienced” — but also “relatable,” “intelligent,” and, in one case, “who?”
It’s people like those voters, living in a dozen or so swing ridings, who will likely decide the outcome of an Oct. 3 election that increasingly looks like a toss-up between the governing Progressive Conservatives and the Opposition NDP, who would have to claim most of those swing seats in order to form government.
The PCs ended the last legislature session with 35 of the 57 seats in the Manitoba Legislature. The NDP had 18 representatives and the Liberals had three. One seat was vacant.
To get a sense of voters’ opinions this time around, Probe Research, in collaboration with CBC Manitoba, put together a focus group with likely voters from Winnipeg’s swing ridings. The polling company identified potential participants from its panel and then randomly selected eight people to ensure a mix of people reasonably representative of Manitoba’s demographics.
The 90-minute discussion, which took place Aug. 29 at The Forks in Winnipeg, was designed to help understand which issues matter most to voters and how the campaign is shaping up. It was moderated by Mary Agnes Welch from Probe Research, and filmed by CBC staff.