Weekly Writ for Dec. 20: Taking stock and looking forward
A thank you to subscribers, plus what the polls are saying (or not saying) about a Liberal rebound.
Welcome to the Weekly Writ, a round-up of the latest federal and provincial polls, election news and political history that lands in your inbox every Wednesday morning.
As we prepare to get nestled all snug in our beds for the holiday season, I wanted to take this opportunity, in the last Weekly Writ of the year, to thank you for your support of this little project of mine.
I started The Writ in June 2021, and so this is the third time I can look back on the past calendar year and take stock. In 2021, this site was just getting started following my decision to leave the CBC. The federal election that year gave me the chance to establish The Writ and find a readership. Though 2022 had two big provincial elections in Ontario and Quebec, it still felt like a year in which The Writ was figuring out what it would be, particularly outside of a federal election campaign.
I thought 2023 would be a challenge. The Alberta election was certainly interesting, but the national audience for that campaign, as well as those in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba, was always going to be limited. But instead of 2023 being a year of survival, it has been a year of growth. There’s never been as many paid or free subscribers to The Writ as there are today.
So, thanks for backing this project. It was a leap of faith to launch a newsletter and podcast focused on elections, polls and Canadian political history, without it being a repository of data and projections nor the home of polemics and partisanship. Getting people angry and outraged is a great way to build an audience (especially if you can repeat back to them what they already believe!) but that was never going to be the approach I took with The Writ. Thanks for proving that my faith in the curiosity and enthusiasm of Canadian politicos — the partisan, professional and just-plain-nerdy alike — was well-founded.
Being as politically-aware as you all are, you know that the next few weeks can be among the quietest in Canadian politics (there I go, tempting fate). The Writ will also be powering down a little, though I still have some holiday goodies in store for you.
On the podcasting front, the last episode of The Writ Podcast for the year will be hitting your feeds on Friday, as always. Then, Philippe J. Fournier and I will hold our third annual Over/Under Contest, where we predict what will happen in the coming year. We’ll also review how good/bad we did in predicting the year that is coming to a close. That episode will be out on December 29 (and in early release for subscribers to The Numbers on December 28).
That we can have a third annual anything is a lot of fun for me — I love traditions! That means you can also expect the now-annual discussion thread to be posted over the holidays, where we can share our thoughts on what was the most surprising political outcome of 2023. And, just after the New Year, I’ll kick-off the 2024 Prediction Contest and reveal the winner of this year’s contest. Who will get their named electronically-engraved on the coveted Writ Cup?
Next year should be a lot of fun. Who knows if we’ll have a federal election. But we’ll definitely have three provincial elections in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. All of them have some fascinating dynamics that we’ll dissect throughout the year. And then there is the bouncing ball of the polls pitting Justin Trudeau against Pierre Poilievre, the struggles of François Legault’s government in Quebec and the impact of a new player on the provincial scene in Ontario. Plus all the things we don’t yet know about that will shape 2024!
I’m looking forward to the year to come on The Writ, and I’m happy to have you along for the ride with me. If you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll join the growing number of paid subscribers so that you don’t miss a thing:
Now, for the last time in 2023, let’s see what’s in this week’s instalment of the Weekly Writ:
News on what to expect on the electoral calendar in early 2024.
What to make of what the polls are saying about the federal scene (are things moving or not?), plus some new numbers out of B.C. and Ontario.
Since last week, it’s a reduced, yet still sizable, Conservative majority if the election were held today.
I name my Riding of the Year in this week’s riding profile.
The story of Canada’s first Indigenous premier in the #EveryElectionProject.