Former House of Commons Speaker and Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer was elected the 2nd official Leader of Conservative Party of Canada and new Leader of the Official Opposition on the 13th and final ballot Saturday evening at the Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke, Ontario. Scheer won with a tight 50.95% of the vote and to clinch the leadership overtaking Quebec MP and former Industry and Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier who had led on the first 12 ballots ultimately placing second with 49.05%. Durham MP and former Veteran’s Affair Minister Erin O’Toole finished in third, Saskatchewan MP and staunch social Conservative Brad Trost placed fourth and former Intergovernmental Affairs Minister and Ontario MP Michael Chong placed fifth. The remainder of the field was as follows:
6th – Kellie Leitch
7th – Pierre Lemieux
8th – Lisa Raitt
9th – Chris Alexander
10th – Steven Blaney
11th – Kevin O’Leary (dropped out of the race on April 26th)
12th – Rick Peterson
13th – Andrew Saxton
14th – Deepak Obhrai
There was a total of 141,362 votes cast overall.
In his victory speech, Scheer thanked outgoing interim leader Rona Ambrose for her stewardship of the Party in the 18 months since the 2015 election as well as former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He spoke of the need to return to balanced budgets and end corporate welfare as well as needing to be the defender of Canadian taxpayers from the agenda of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Scheer’s election as leader is widely viewed as a continuation of the policies and direction of the Harper era of the Party, he was seen as the establishment and party unity candidate receiving the second most endorsements of MPs and Senators behind Erin O’Toole.
Scheer was first elected in 2004 at the age of 25 and served as a backbencher in the Harper Government until he became the youngest Speaker of the House in Canadian history at the age of 32 following the 2011 Federal Election. He served as Opposition House Leader following the Party’s defeat in 2015 until he stepped down last fall to run for the leadership.
Votes were tabulated at 14 stations across the country, by mail-in ballot and in person at the convention.
The announcement was made just after 8pm Eastern Time after two hours of balloting, prior to that outgoing Interim Party Leader Rona Ambrose received a tribute and send-off.
Sussex will continue to monitor Scheer’s assumption of the role of Leader of the Official Opposition as he prepares to move into Stornoway and form a new Shadow Cabinet.
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