Saturday, February 23, 2008

66.9%: Has Any Leader in Canadian History Stayed On With Anything As Low As That?

So 66.9% of delegates voted AGAINST a leadership review. A clear majority to be sure, but in order to win an election don't you need more than that from your own party to win?

Has anyone ever stayed on with a rating this low? For comparison purposes, Bernard Landry (PQ) received 76.2% and resigned and Joe Clark received the exact same 66.9% and also resigned. Dalton McGuinty stayed on with getting more than 80% support.

That said the rating is not so low as where he couldn't credibly claim to be able to lead the party, it's still a clear majority and it's not as bad as Ralph Kelin's 55% which forced him to step down. A leadership review is the proper way of deciding whether a leader should go or not, but ultimately the real decision in cases like this reside with the leader himself.

But the historical comparisons are pretty clear so John Tory will be against that. He definitely has some thinking to do....

If I had to guess, I would say he doesn't make it past the month. I guess 30% of those who voted in my poll predicted this range (60-69%) (a biased and small sample to be sure), and a majority of votes here said he won't hang on.

We'll see if they are right, but the decision ultimately rests with Tory.

UPDATE: As it turns out, apparently, there was one leader in Canadian history who stayed on with less support: Joe Clark. He got 66.5% in 1981 and hung on, but decided that John Tory's number wasn't enough in 1983 so he called the leadership race then (thanks to CalgaryGrit for pointing that out).

So I guess both John Tory and his detractors can use Joe Clark as an example!

For the record here are the poll results the following questions:
“How Many Ontario PC Party Delegates Will Vote No to a Leadership Review Next Weekend (Feb 22-24) At Their Convention?”

The results were as follows:

80% + - 8% of votes
70-79% - 0% of votes
60-69% - 30% of votes
50-59% - 39% of votes
Less than 50% - 21% of votes

For the question:
"Will John Tory Resign After The Leadership Review Vote?"

The results were as follows:

Yes, Within One Day - 30%
Yes, Within One Month - 25%
No, He Will Hang On - 45%

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calgarygrit said...

Clark got similar review numbers at his first leadership review, so he may have been lower.

(CG goes to check wikipedia)

Yup - 66.5% in '81. I'm tying to think of other examples but none come to mind.