The election of Pierre Poilievre as the new Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is significant in many ways.
Poilievre delivered a first round knock-out to his leadership rivals with a commanding result of over 68 percent of the vote. In most elections this is considered a landslide however, for this leadership race, it is much more.
Political parties tend to choose a preferential ballot selection process claiming that it gives more voice to the grassroots and to protect against a leadership race being highjacked by special interests.
The preferential ballot often chooses the second or third choice as leader, pleasing almost no one. Hence the Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole leaderships.
Poilievre’s win was so overwhelming that he ended up winning 330 out of 338 federal ridings. The win was so decisive that no one could question the result.
The result also shows that the Conservative Party is a united party now. The backbiting and infighting will take a back seat within the party. Party members, through their choice, recognize that their goal is to defeat the Trudeau Liberals and not their own leader.
Poilievre’s win is also significant based on how he ran his campaign. Skipping over the traditional methods of campaigning, he invested heavily in social media to get his message out.
For Poilievre the move paid off as thousands of young people flocked to his campaign. His over-capacity crowds at campaign events were dominated by new, young Conservatives.
It appears for the time being that the Conservative Party has finally chosen a leader that will fight and who understands how to win an election.
His challenge now is to carry that over into a general election.