According to EKOS, if Conservatives think this denier line will resonate, they are sorely mistaken. In fact, there is considerable risk that this open debate amongst Conservatives will harm the party. Some interesting numbers:
Catergorizing the perceived threat of global warming:
20% seriously exaggerated
44% consistent with the level of risk
31% seriously underestimated
4% dont know
What we see is a very limited audience, Bernier's view is clearly a fringe position. If you breakdown the numbers further, you'll see that outside of Alberta (which Graves mentioned on P and P), Bernier's view is even more marginal. The Conservatives enjoy base support of 30%, those that share Bernier's view don't even come close to that total, which means a large percentage of Conservative voters aren't on board with the denier arguments. The numbers are even worse, when one considers the numbers the Conservatives actually received in the last two elections.
Far more people actually think we are underestimating the effects of global warming, combined with the "consistent" camp, it's an overwhelming MAINSTREAM opinion. If Bernier is a trial balloon, I would suggest it will be met with disapproval, more capacity for harm than good.
Those of us on the side of global warming should take comfort in Bernier, and the emerging support from many Conservatives. An open debate amongst Conservatives will demonstrate once again that the party doesn't represent Canadians on this issue, particularly where it matters electorally. The opposition would be wise to highlight Bernier and cultivate more discussion, because this stance is a clear LOSER politically. You win no converts and simultaneously alienate moderate Conservatives.