News Analysis

Bernier says he will 'continue to split the vote,' calls Conservatives 'arrogant'

In response to allegations of vote splitting, Bernier blamed no one but the Conservatives, saying that the Tories arrogantly believe that "PPC votes belong to them."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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Yesterday's York Centre byelection saw a tight race between Liberal Party candidate Ya'ara Saks and Conservative candidate Julius Tiangson, finishing at 8,253 votes to Tiangson's 7,552—or, by just 701 votes.

While votes were sparse to begin with (only 25.6 percent of registered voters actually submitted their ballot) it was People's Party Candidate Maxime Bernier's 642 votes that have caught the attention of Conservative Party voters, with some calling Bernier's behaviour "vote splitting."

In response to those allegations, Bernier blamed no one but the Conservatives, saying that the Tories arrogantly believe that "PPC votes belong to them."

"They should instead blame themselves for being unprincipled panderers with policies barely distinguishable from those of Trudeau," said Bernier in a tweet published Tuesday morning.

"Yes we will continue to SPLIT THE VOTE. That’s the point of having a different party: offer a choice to voters who would otherwise not vote or settle for a less appealing option. It’s called DEMOCRACY," stressed the PPC Leader.

"Instead of asking themselves why they can’t beat the worst government in decades, poor whiny Conservatives blame PPC for ‘stealing’ votes they think should go to them and they pay nasty trolls and attack dogs to smear us. We’re not responsible for their failures. They are."

The 642 votes obtained by the PPC in York Centre would not have been enough to make up for Tiagson's shortcomings, though the number spoke to a growing concern over the People's Party's role in splitting the vote, potentially allowing the dissimilar Liberals to win out where they may not have, had the PPC not been a factor.

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