Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, on Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, on Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Rock. Hard place. Meet Erin O’Toole.

Y’all remember Andrew Scheer? His tenure as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada can hardly be remembered as a success, given that he lost an election that was being handed to him on a silver platter.

No one expected the Conservatives to lose the 2019 election. Trudeau had backed himself into a corner of scandal and the electorate was a ripe fruit to be plucked by a Conservative.

But it didn’t happen. The party pointed the finger at Scheer and who could blame them? He tried to save his job as leader but he was ousted.

Which is why current leader Erin O’Toole should be very unhappy with the latest Angus Reid poll.

Angus pulled a poll from December 2017 out of his back pocket, wherein Canadians were asked about the favourability of Andrew Scheer, just six months into his tenure as leader. And then Angus asked about the favourability of Erin O’Toole, just about he same amount of time into his leadership role, in January 2021.

Here’s the comparison. Eleven per cent of respondents found Scheer very favourable in 2017. The number for O’Toole is six per cent.

The slightly less enthusiastic ‘favourable’ category found Scheer at 24 per cent and O’Toole at 26 per cent. So O’Toole is only at 32 per cent favourable.

And now here is where the numbers get really alarming for O’Toole. In 2017, 16 per cent had an unfavourable view of Scheer. 23 per cent do not favour O’Toole. And a further 20 per cent found Scheer very unfavourable. That number rises to 23 per cent for O’Toole.

Finally, in 2017, 29 per cent of respondents hadn’t yet made their mind up about Scheer. Only 22 per cent say they don’t know enough about O’Toole yet.

When O’Toole goes head to head against Justin Trudeau he isn’t faring that well either. Trudeau’s approval is at 50 per cent, pretty much unchanged from the last poll. O’Toole’s approval is at 32 per cent.

Party to party, the Liberals have 35 per cent support, the Conservatives 30 per cent and the NDP at 20 per cent.

That’s not an insurmountable lead, but it’s the biggest lead the Liberals have had in quite some time.

O’Toole needs to get to work. He needs to figure out very quickly where he is getting traction with voters and where he is failing.

The COVID pandemic is not working in his favour either. The best thing O’Toole could do is hit the road and begin a real conversation with Canadians. Let us get to know him and where he stands on important issues.

Let’s remember back to before the 2019 election when NDP leader Jagmeet Singh began to travel the country and get his face out there. His approval ratings rose substantially.

But O’Toole can’t do that due to essential only travel recommendations and the inability to hold events. He is really in a bad position. His poll numbers need boosting and it needs to be done quickly, but he hasn’t got the traditional tools politicians use to do that.

As discussed last week, the in party fight with Derek Sloan isn’t doing him a lot of good either. And there are now rumblings that other socially conservative factions of the Conservative party, who supported O’Toole’s leadership bid, are wondering if he will turn on them.

Rock. Hard place. Meet Erin O’Toole.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

The Site C Dam location is seen along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The cost of British Columbia’s Site C hydroelectric dam has grown to $16 billion and the completion has been moved up a year to 2025. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BC Liberal energy critic blasts ‘lack of transparency’ on Site C

MLA Tom Shypitka says Site C going ahead is a ‘good thing’, blames NDP for mismanagement

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
Kootenay-Columbia MP supports motion condemning Uighur genocide

Rob Morrison says labelling Uighur persecution as a genocide sends a message to Chinese government

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in Cranbrook woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read