Manning Centre Releases "State of Canada's Conservative Movement" Report 2011

Report Provides Demographic Roadmap for Increasing Conservative Election Success

CALGARY, Sept. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Preston Manning, CEO of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, is pleased to release the 2011 State of Canada's Conservative Movement report.  The Report builds on the results of a national opinion poll conducted after the federal election with fresh analysis that sheds new light on the conservative landscape. The analysis examines a shift in Canadians' perception of the role of government.  "Rather than seeing government as the sole provider of big solutions to big problems," said Manning, "increasing numbers of Canadians see government playing more of a 'facilitating role,' partnering with other stakeholders to achieve shared goals."

The report also analyzes Canada's electoral map, focusing on the numbers of provincial and federal seats held by the various political parties. According to Manning, conservative-oriented parties, loosely defined, currently hold about 47% of those seats. "And if upcoming provincial elections were to see a net gain of 31 seats, conservative-oriented parties would then hold a majority of electoral seats across the country."

In further analyzing untapped pools of "near supporters" for conservative parties, the report's demographic analysis shows that these include blue-collar and trades people, conservative-oriented Greens, non-ideological "bread-and-butter" Canadians, and "disgruntled democrats."

For example, research comparing support for the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections with support for Rob Ford in Toronto's most recent municipal election finds a significant number of voters who voted for Mayor Ford but did not generally vote for the Conservative Party of Canada. These voters tend to have large households, lower-than-average income, a high school or trades certificate, work in manufacturing, construction, transportation and are often visible minorities.

The Report also cautions conservatives not to "rest on their laurels."  The Report analyses conservative democratic infrastructure - the strengths and weaknesses of conservative-oriented think tanks, training programs, and communications vehicles - and identifies several major deficiencies that limit conservative influence on Canada's political culture.  "There is much work to be done to address several weaknesses in conservative intellectual capital through expanded think tank activity, to raise the knowledge and skill levels of conservative political practitioners through more effective training programs, and to increase conservative communications capacity particularly via the social media," concluded Manning.

The report can be found by going to www.manningcentre.ca/content/2nd-annual-state-canadas-conservative-movement

SOURCE Manning Centre

For further information:

Preston Manning is available today for interviews.  To schedule an interview, please contact:
Morten Paulsen
403.399.3377 or morten@paulsengroup.ca

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