Political scientists wait to see what happens to the Conservatives after Scheer stepped down

A political science associate professor at the University of Regina is waiting to see what they impact will be of Andrew Scheer’s resignation from the Conservative Party leadership.

Jim Farney said depending on when the Conservatives elect a new leader, the Liberals will have a better opportunity to get through the 2020 budget with the help of the NDP and Green Party without an election being called.

Farney says he was surprised Scheer decided now was the time to step down. “I was expecting to see him, given all the signals he said so far, fight things out through until April [when the Conservative Party convention is being held]. But that was going to be a hard fight for him and obviously he saw some signals that it was time to go now.”

Farney said nothing much will change immediately in the House of Commons for the Conservatives until a new leader is elected. “It does mean I think though that Justin Trudeau has a lot more breathing room. No party is going to want to push things into an election with an interim leader. I think it means that the next federal budget for example, will be much easier for Mr. Trudeau to build a coalition on the left around.”

He added that this means the Liberals will be able to continue taking advantage of a weakened opposition for the time being. “We see that on the left now with the Bloc, if you put them over there, and the Greens and the NDP. I don’t think the Tories are likely to fragment like they did in the 1990’s, but they’re a weakened party right now. One of the easiest ways to stay in government is just to have weak opposition.”

The announcement made on Thursday has triggered some speculation on who the new leader will be, with many seeing Rona Ambrose, Peter MacKay or Erin O’Toole being the next logical choice.

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