Branden Leslie Demolishes Bernier In Portage-Lisgar By-Election

Conservative candidate Branden Leslie is outpacing the CPC’s performance compared to 2021, while Bernier – the leader of his party – is doing worse than the PPC candidate in that campaign.

After a campaign in which Maxime Bernier and the PPC attempted to portray the Pierre Poilievre-led Conservatives as the same as the Trudeau Liberals and accused all their critics of being ‘controlled opposition’ or ‘WEF puppets,’ the PPC leader was demolished in the Portage-Lisgar by-election.

In the 2021 campaign, the Conservatives won 52.5% of the vote in the riding, while the PPC won 21.6%. It was the best riding for the PPC in the entire country, and Maxime Bernier and the PPC targeted the by-election there as Bernier’s chance to get back into Parliament after repeated defeats in other ridings.

It didn’t happen.

The PPC strategy was to accuse the Conservatives of being ‘fake conservatives’ and attack Pierre Poilievre on issues like the CPC’s support for Ukraine (despite the Conservative position in support of Ukraine being quite popular among Canadians, something the PPC ignored in favour of pandering to the tiny percentage of Canadians who support Russia).

Turns out, taking those unpopular contrarian positions may have played well among a small subset of individuals on social media, but it fell completely flat among voters.

In the end, Bernier is on track to do worse than the PPC did in 2021, which is a seriously blow to his credibility given that he is the leader of the party and would have been expected to at least surpass their 2021 election result.

Instead, the CPC won in dominating fashion.

With 99% of polls reporting, the results are as follows:

Conservative – Branden Leslie 20,215 votes 64.9%

People’s Party – PPC Max Bernier 5,349 votes 17.2%

Liberal – Kerry Smith 2,660 votes 8.5%

New Democratic Party – Lisa Tessier-Burch 2,204 votes 7.1%

Green Party – Nicolas Geddert 699 votes 2.2%

Not even close

This is a resounding victory for the Conservatives. Bernier threw everything at them, and took every contrarian position possible to try and create political distance to exploit on the right, yet he finished nearly 15,000 votes behind. As you can see above, Bernier will finish far closer to the Liberals, NDP, and Greens in the riding than he will to the Conservatives.

The voters of Portage-Lisgar have spoken loud and clear, and they’ve chosen to elect someone who actually has the potential to serve in a future federal government, rather than someone who inadvertently does Justin Trudeau’s bidding by always attacking Conservatives.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube