OTTAWA – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer may be facing a serious challenge in keeping his job following Monday’s election loss.
Reports suggest party members are already talking about their dissatisfaction with his leadership
Some key Conservative insiders described the situation to the Toronto Star as a “bloodbath,” while expressing their deep disappointment in how Scheer and his inner circle ran the campaign and failed to come up big in Ontario and Quebec.
There is a feeling in the party they should have won this vote, with Justin Trudeau and the Liberals facing the SNC-Lavalin and blackface scandals.
Some experts say it’s no wonder some are already talking about replacing the face of their party.
“Not only one knife will come to get you, many will,” University of Toronto political scientist Nelson Wiseman explains. “There are a lot of people in the Conservative Party who have leadership ambitions.”
Insiders say he will face challenges and have to work hard to survive a leadership review in April.
Wiseman says don’t expect to see any formal bids from a potential replacement before that review, but rather teams of party members working covertly against Scheer.
“With winks and nods from the person they want as leader, working to undermine the, the current leader,” he says.
Scheer has already said he will not step down, adding he increased his party’s seat count and won the popular vote.
However, Wiseman says that may not be enough.
“There’s going to be some sort of challenge to him,” he says. “This was an election the Conservatives could have won, and they feel they should have won.”
Another negative sign for Scheer as insiders express their disappointment is an Ipsos poll done for Global News on election day, which suggests 63 per cent of voters felt the Tory leader should resign if he couldn’t win the most seats.