Will John Tory’s ‘prudent’ leadership be tough enough to tackle Toronto’s big issues if he’s re-elected?
You’re not supposed to know what you’re voting for, but there is a good chance that you will know who the Conservative leader is running for. The Tory campaign is not exactly a secret, it’s just not one that people are expected to know who John Tory is running for. Since 2006, when the Tories had John Baird and Patrick Brown in charge, it has been a steady climb for Tory leader. They made the playoffs in 2006, made it to the leaders’ debate with Michael Ignatieff and became the Official Opposition. Then, with the party’s fortunes fluctuating between the election of a weak federal cabinet and a weak national campaign, Tory’s fortunes tanked.
Tory was on the verge of a landslide win in 2010, when he announced Patrick Brown as his new campaign manager. He and Brown were a hit with the party faithful. But the next election, in 2011, was a disaster. The Tories fell victim to a long decline in their popularity on both the national and the provincial level; in 2008, they were the only major party to beat the Liberals in the last two elections, but their popularity began to wane with the arrival of Brown. Voters who had backed Brown began to abandon him in 2010; during the election, he lost almost every riding where he had gained a lot of votes. In the end, he took just over 9% of the popular vote to defeat Liberal Thomas Mulcair’s NDP, whom he had led as leader for two terms.
While the Tories fell short of a national majority, they did win their traditional base, Quebec, where they were the first choice for over half of voters. But they lost Ontario, where they had been the biggest winner for several years. In 2012, they lost the last seat in Vancouver which had only been theirs for a very short time, and in the 2014 election, they lost both the Atlantic provinces and the Greater Toronto Area, making them the first party not to win the national vote in an election since 1986.
They have been in a rough patch ever since, and a lot of