A majority of Conservative MPs today voted to remove Erin O’Toole as party leader, paving the way for another leadership race only 18 months after the party finished the last one.
The result wasn’t particularly close: 73 of the 118 MPs on hand — the party’s caucus chair, Scott Reid, did not cast a ballot — voted to replace O’Toole with someone else.
O’Toole, a four-term Ontario MP who has fought only one federal election campaign as the party’s leader, will be replaced by an interim leader later today after another caucus vote.
O’Toole, who represents the riding of Durham in suburban Toronto, faced a barrage of criticism from his colleagues for shifting the party’s positions on carbon taxation, balanced budgets and “assault-style” firearms during the election campaign. In the end, enough MPs decided it was grounds for his dismissal.
O’Toole’s warning — that a vote against him and his more moderate vision of Canadian conservatism would put the party on the wrong path — failed to rally enough MPs to his side.
This development will force the party brass to immediately begin organizing a leadership race on a very tight timeline. An election could be called at any time in this minority Parliament.