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Abstract

This commentary discusses the role and importance of polling and opinion measurement in the 2011 Canadian federal election. The author examines how, in an era of tight message control and issue framing, polls and the media are an important bridge between politicians and Canadians. How the Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic parties respectively defined their ballot issues is described as an illustrative case. The author also discusses how polling brings an evidence-based perspective to the messaging and tone of campaigns and how social media is emerging as an influence on polling and campaign strategy.

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