You're fired! Conservative caucus votes to oust Erin O'Toole as party leader

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      The Conservatives will go into the next federal election with their fourth leader in four consecutive campaigns.

      That's because the caucus voted today to fire Erin O'Toole as leader after a disappointing 2021 election result.

      Conservative MPs voted 73-45, according to media reports, to dump their leader. Later today, an interim leader will be elected.

      O'Toole, a four-term MP from the suburban Toronto riding of Durham, led the party to Opposition status in 2021. The Conservatives won 119 seats.

      The Conservatives attracted more votes than the Liberals, but Justin Trudeau remained prime minister because his party captured 155 seats.

      Early in the campaign, the Conservatives were riding high in the polls, but trouble emerged over O'Toole's handling of the gun-control issue.

      Plus, the Liberals exploited O'Toole's lack of support for vaccine mandates for federal civil servants. And O'Toole failed to make serious inroads in Quebec, despite having the backing of Quebec premier François Legault.

      During the campaign, O'Toole tried to present himself as a moderate who was modernizing the party, but that only ran afoul of his party's socially conservative wing. 

      O'Toole's predecessor, Andrew Scheer, was leader when the party won 121 seats in the 2019 election.

      Under former prime minister Stephen Harper, the Conservatives won 99 seats in the 2015 election.