Early January 25th, Patrick Brown denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against him and resigned as the Progressive Conservative party’s leader. The Progressive Conservatives will now need to elect an interim leader, a process that usually takes up to 18 months, in a short period of time.
XFM News spoke with Fanshawe politics professor, Matt Farrell, who isn’t sure that they will be able to complete the process and elect an interim leader this quickly.” There’s a lot of open questions. Do you run the campaign with an interim leader and hope that he’s able to win? But how do you make that case to the voters that we’re going to have this temporary placeholder for you to vote for that may or may not be in charge after the election. We may decide that we don’t want that we want a different leader. That’s a really tough one for voters a tough sell. so you want to have some consistency, you want to have stability going into the election and beyond.”
The process of electing an interim leader is a caucus vote made by those within the party, usually names will be put forward and negotiations would unfold, those up for the job would deliver speeches and have months to campaign for a chance at the title. At this point, Farrell says it is hard for him to predict who would be chosen, and says that it is probably going to be someone that already has influence or good command over the party.
Farrell says that it is hard to predict how the Ontario PC party will bounce back knowing that this isn’t the first election where the party has had to deal with scandal. “We have 2011, 2014 and this one where a unpopular sitting government has stayed in power because of the errors made by the opposition party or circumstances that have unfolded or in this case allegations of impropriety against the candidate. So we’ve had three successive Progressive Conservative leaders that have managed to fumble the ball.” Farrell says that in those 3 elections chances of victory were strong for candidates until they were plagued by controversy and scandal.