Bernier now in command of the Conservative Party Leadership race
In a shocking announcement, Kevin O’Leary has dropped out of the Conservative leadership race and endorsed Maxime Bernier.
The move immediately certifies Bernier’s status as the unquestioned front-runner, and makes it much more likely that he will become the next leader of the CPC.
O’Leary says he dropped out because he lacked support in Quebec, and felt he would be unable to defeat Justin Trudeau without winning more seats in Canada’s second largest province.
O’Leary told the Globe & Mail, “It’s for the sake of the party that I do this, and the country. Because I can’t deliver Quebec. I can’t win. That’s my opinion. I wish it was different.”
Added O’Leary, “The worst thing for me to do is to win the leadership and lose the election. That is a disaster for everybody involved here.”
O’Leary says he thinks Bernier can win in Quebec, adding “I like Max. I can work with him.”
O’Leary believes Bernier can win big in Western Canada, and also gain up to 40 seats in Quebec in the 2019 campaign.
Other candidates now in big trouble
Bernier and O’Leary were widely seen as the two leaders in the race. However, with both of them garnering lots of support, lower-tier candidates could still hope for victories after the first ballot.
That just became much more difficult.
Bernier is now likely to gain a large share of first round votes. Even if he falls short on the first ballot, if O’Leary’s supporters follow the lead of their former candidate, Bernier will just need a small amount of second choice votes to prevail.
This is a great day for Maxime Bernier, and a very bad day for everybody else vying for the Conservative Party Leadership.