Andrew Scheer wins Conservative leadership
How he won, who he is and what happens next
How the night unfolded
Conservative MP Andrew Scheer scored a major upset in the federal leadership race, beating out front-runner Maxime Bernier to take the helm of the party.
Mr. Scheer won on the 13th ballot with 51 per cent of the available points to Mr. Bernier's 49 per cent. Mr. Bernier, a Quebec MP, had led all 12 ballots to that point, but Mr. Scheer benefited from a final push when third-place finisher Erin O'Toole's support was redistributed to the last two contenders.
Mr. Scheer received a major boost from social Conservatives, who he said would have the freedom to speak their minds in his party. Substantial support from Brad Trost and Pierre Lemieux, who won a combined 16 per cent of all first-round support, ended up going to Mr. Scheer in later rounds.
- Daniel Leblanc and Laura Stone
Who is Andrew Scheer?
Mr. Scheer, 38, was the youngest leadership candidate and has spent nearly his entire adult life in politics. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004, representing a Regina riding (though he grew up in Ottawa). Through the near-decade of Harper government, Mr. Scheer never served in cabinet – instead he focused on parliamentary procedure, rising to Speaker of the House of Commons between the 2011 and 2015 elections. He is the youngest Speaker that Canada has ever had.
The congenial Mr. Scheer has always been popular with his colleagues – he boasted plenty of endorsements from his fellow Conservative MPs in the race, served as his caucus's House Leader after the 2015 election and, it's worth noting, the position of Speaker is elected by MPs in a secret ballot. Mr. Bernier, by contrast, relied on the strength of his libertarian principles and had few endorsements from his colleagues. (Mr. Bernier did, however, raise more money.)
Mr. Scheer ran on a fiscally conservative platform, promising to balance the federal budget in two years, open up the airline industry to foreign competition and create tax exemptions for parents of students in independent schools and parents collecting Employment Insurance benefits. He is also seen as supported by the social-conservative wing of the party, owing to policies such as a pledge to take away funding from universities that don't protect freedom of speech.
And one bit of familial trivia: his brother-in-law is Jon Ryan, punter for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.
- Chris Hannay
What about 2019?
Work begins on the next race: The 2019 federal election. Nanos Research conducted a poll for The Globe and Mail prior to the convention that gauges where Conservative leadership hopefuls stand against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals.
The poll surveyed 1,000 Canadians who are 18 years or older.
Only 4.1 per cent of Canadians thought that Mr. Scheer would make the best prime minister among all the leadership candidates. Additionally, more Canadians would want none of the leadership candidates than any particular candidate and nearly a third of Canadians are unsure about which of the candidates would make the best prime minister. The latter number indicates that Mr. Scheer may have room to grow on people once more Canadians become familiar with him.
16.6 per cent of Canadians are more likely to vote Conservative in 2019 if Andrew Scheer is leading the party, far behind Mr. Bernier, Ms. Raitt and Mr. Chong.
On the other side of the question, 48 per cent of Canadians would be less likely to vote for Mr. Scheer.
Although it has been a common tactic for leadership candidates to attack the Liberals' economic record, 38 per cent of Canadians think that the Liberals have the best plan to manage the economy. In comparison, only 30 per cent think that the Conservatives are right for the job. Additionally, 15 per cent of Canadians are unsure, indicating room for growth for each of the parties.
While Conservative leadership candidates across the spectrum have been touting a future filled with balanced budgets, Finance Canada estimates that the Liberals will run a $23-billion deficit during their first full fiscal year in power.
Although the Trump administration has been in power for just over four months, they've already had a profound impact on Canadian policy makers on everything from trade and immigration to climate change and resource development.
Forty per cent of Canadians think that the governing Liberals would be most likely to be able to work with the White House compared to 35.1 per cent who think the Conservatives are best suited to work with the Republicans.
- Mayaz Alam
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