O’Toole New Conservative Leader

CBJ — Erin O’Toole maintained a smooth, steady course of action during his campaign and he’s been rewarded by being voted in as the new leader of the federal Conservative Party of Canada, beating favourite Peter MacKay.

MacKay, 54, won the first of what would be three ballots, however, pundits agreed that his narrow lead after that first ballot was a bad sign — and it proved to be true. Derek Sloan dropped off the ballot list after that first round and Leslyn Lewis was out after the second ballot, leaving O’Toole and MacKay to go head-to-head in the third and final round.

The majority of Lewis and Sloan supporters opted to side with O’Toole, giving him the final margin of victory. O’Toole won 57% of the vote, MacKay, 43% with the vote count coming in at 19,271 for O’Toole and 14,528 for MacKay. The magic number to win was 16,901 delegates.

The 47-year-old O’Toole is the Member of Parliament representing Durham, just east of Toronto. He was first elected in a by-election on November 26, 2012.

While it seems all but assured Leslyn Lewis is an up and coming star in the Conservative Party, it’s still unknown whether MacKay will opt to remain in politics and be a major contributor to O’Toole’s team. MacKay had already once left federal politics and he may do so again following this difficult loss. He’s played second fiddle before, and it’s doubtful he may have the appetite for it again.

Next up for O’Toole and his Conservative team will be determining the best route to defeating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next election, which could be called in a month’s time, depending on the outcome of what’s set to be a series of key confidence votes once the House of Commons reconvenes on September 23.