The head of Canada’s official opposition Conservatives, Erin O’Toole, lost a party vote of confidence on Wednesday amid a revolt of his fellow lawmakers who challenged his leadership after an election loss last year.
Legislators voted by 73 to 45 to replace O’Toole, the right-leaning party said in a statement. Internal rules stipulate that a leader who loses a confidence vote is removed immediately.
Unhappy parliamentarians demanded the vote after the Conservatives lost a third consecutive election to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in September 2021. The party last held power in late 2015.
The development is potentially good news for Trudeau, who has now seen off four Conservative leaders and can govern while his main rivals are focused on succession issues.
Conservative legislators must now choose an interim chief before the party holds a formal leadership convention.
Dissidents said O’Toole pulled the Conservatives too far into the middle during the election campaign, announcing major policies without any consultation. O’Toole said the tactic was needed to attract more moderate voters.