His combative approach towards the Liberals and the media is what many Conservatives have been looking for.
There’s currently a very interesting debate going on in Conservative circles and on social media.
On the one hand, the political elites are demanding that the Conservatives basically copy the Liberal Party and stop questioning the economic and political establishment.
They say that’s the only path to ‘electability,’ and that the only way the party can win is if they become more like the Liberals.
On the other hand, if you look on social media and in the comment sections of websites like SpencerFernando.com, you can see a very different discussion taking place. There, Conservatives are arguing for a leader who is tougher in pushing back against media bias, and tougher in standing up to the Liberals.
They want people who are good at communicating to the media and to the Canadian Public, not someone who is friendly to the media. After all, those are two very different things.
And there is clearly a desire for a more populist approach, pushing the Conservatives to be a party that can bring both traditional Conservatives and working class Canadians together in a winning coalition, similar to what we saw in the UK with Boris Johnson’s landslide victory.
As noted by J.J. McCullough, the establishment types seem to have no clue what the Conservative base actually thinks:
“It would actually be pretty cool if some of these ultra-establishment characters ran for CPC leader, just to see them get humbled. It would be nice closure to have definitive proof that no, conservatives do not in fact want to be lead by the likes of MacKay, Charest, Lord, etc.”
It would actually be pretty cool if some of these ultra-establishment characters ran for CPC leader, just to see them get humbled. It would be nice closure to have definitive proof that no, conservatives do not in fact want to be lead by the likes of MacKay, Charest, Lord, etc.
— J.J. McCullough (@JJ_McCullough) December 18, 2019
By contrast, it appears that Pierre Poilievre has substantial and growing support among the Conservative base, as you can see in the results of the Twitter poll below, which had over 5,700 respondents:
VOTE & RETWEET!
Who would you support for Conservative Party Leader?
— Spencer Fernando 🇨🇦 (@SpencerFernando) December 18, 2019
Poilievre was far ahead of the pack with 56%, while Ambrose was far behind in second at 27%. Michelle Rempel and MacKay were farther back with 9% and 8% respectively.
And another poll I posted shows a huge rejection of Charest:
Would you support Jean Charest for Conservative Party Leader?
— Spencer Fernando 🇨🇦 (@SpencerFernando) December 19, 2019
Over 3,000 votes, and just 6% saying they would support Charest.
Now, some will point out that these ‘aren’t scientific polls,’ which is of course true. However, it’s basically impossible to get any ‘scientific polls’ done at this point, since leadership races are about selling memberships and appealing to current members, thus the potential voters are unknowable and always in flux.
So, in a situation like that, online sentiment and responses by people on websites can be an effective gauge of sentiment.
Additionally, many – though not all – of the readers on my website and my over 30,000 Twitter followers lean towards the Conservative side of the political spectrum, meaning that a poll result with thousands of respondents is certainly capturing at least a slice of what many Canadian Conservatives think.
With all of that in mind, it seems clear that Pierre Poilievre’s tough approach and willingness to fight back in the media is winning him a lot of support, and could make him surprisingly strong if he chooses to enter the Conservative Leadership race.
Much of the Conservative base is looking for a fighter, and Poilievre certainly fits that role.
Photo – Twitter