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CAMPAIGN NOTEBOOK

By Chris Hannay (@channay)

Who would you consider voting for?

It's an interesting variation of the question "who would you vote for if an election were held today?" that captures the wider pool of potential supporters a party might have.

(And yes, if I'm going to be more grammatically correct, I should ask: "For whom would you consider voting?")

Nanos Research always asks this question during its polling, and calls it a measure of a party's accessible voters. Who could the party reasonably hope to persuade? Or: What's the party's ceiling of support?

The Conservatives, who have been renowned for having a rock-solid base that wouldn't consider voting for any other party, have had a consistent accessible score since the campaign began. For months, the Conservative "would you consider" measure has been stuck at 40 per cent, roughly the percentage of votes the party got in the 2011 election. At the high end, this is enough for a majority government - assuming all your supporters go out and cast their ballots.

But for the NDP and Liberals, there have been big changes in the last nine weeks of the campaign. In August, more than half of those contacted by Nanos said they would consider voting New Democrat. That number is now down to 40.9 per cent, a 12-month low for the party.

The Liberals, meanwhile, have bounced from the high 50s a year ago, down to the low 40s in the summer, and are now back to a hair over 50 per cent - the highest of any party, and just as the Liberals take the lead in Nanos's daily tracking.

DAILY TRACKING FROM NANOS RESEARCH

Nik Nanos: "Liberals and Conservatives top choices for Canadians, NDP accessible vote drops nine points in four weeks."

> Conservatives: 31.5 per cent (down 1.1 from last week)

> NDP: 23.1 per cent (down 3.9 from last week)

> Liberals: 35 per cent (up 3.6 from last week)

> Green: 4.6 per cent (up 0.6 from last week)

> Bloc: 4.9 per cent (up 0.5 from last week)

The margin of error is 2.8 points. Click here for Nanos methodology.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS MORNING

> The Trans-Pacific Partnership spells the beginning of the end for supply management.

> … and for the auto sector, one of the other industries that could be heavily affected by the TPP, the impact of the final deal isn't yet clear.

> What does it take to get students to vote?

> The Conservative government's bid to stop a woman from wearing the niqab while giving the oath of citizenship has failed.

> Neil Young is back, and he's not happy with Stephen Harper.

TODAY'S ELECTION SIMULATION

The Conservatives take a hit in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces, but make a leap in Quebec for a total of 134 seats, ahead of the NDP's 106 and the Liberals' 94. Try your hand at our simulator and find out what could happen if an election were held today.

Overall, the Conservatives currently have a 65-per-cent chance of winning the most seats.

WHERE THE LEADERS ARE

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is in Whitby, Ont., in the morning and Saskatoon in the evening.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has a morning town hall in Surrey, B.C.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is in Quebec today, starting with a morning announcement in Montreal, an afternoon stop in Granby and an evening rally in Sherbrooke

TRUDEAU AND TRADE

Caught between the firm stands of the Conservatives (yay) and the NDP (nay) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Liberals have to hope trade fades away as an election issue, John Ibbitson writes.

WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT

"At times, Mr. Trudeau sounds like a camp counsellor leading a rousing chorus of Kumbaya. Consultation, collaboration and goodwill are the way to resolve all our national divisions, he promises. If we only listened to each other, we'd all get along! If Mr. Trudeau is the bridge, then Mr. Harper is the wedge. Niqab politics. Stripping convicted terrorists of citizenship. Promising hot lines so that citizens can report suspicious sightings of "barbaric cultural practices." – Margaret Wente on the Liberals.

Lawrence Martin (Globe and Mail): "Caveats aside however, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a move in the right direction for Canada."

Antonia Maioni (Globe and Mail): "For Quebeckers in search of political tea leaves, it wasn't the 'aha' moment they may have experienced with Jack Layton's appearance on Tout le monde en parle in the 2011 campaign."

Susan Delacourt (iPolitics): "If this election is distilling down to a potentially ugly culture war in the final two weeks before the vote, much could rest on how Canadians feel about the people living around them."

Chantal Hebert (Toronto Star): "Politicians are never as generous as when they are campaigning for re-election and the dairy industry can probably thank its lucky star that crunch time at the TPP table coincided with the 2015 campaign."

LOOKAHEAD: WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK

The election is in 13 days.


This newsletter is produced by Chris Hannay and Steve Proceviat.


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