The pundits have decided that Andrew Scheer has little chance of success as Conservative leader. Only two majority governments in Canadian history, they point out, have ever been defeated after only one term: Alexander Mackenzie and R.B. Bennett.
Scheer will likely lose his first election, and be replaced.
That is true, as far as it goes; but is rather little data to go on. If we include provincial elections, we quickly find further examples. Bob Rae, Ontario, 1990. Lost in 1995 to a PC majority under Mike Harris. Dave Barrett, BC, 1972. Lost in 1975 to a Socred majority under Bill Bennett. That’s off the top of my head. The same pattern was followed by a number of United Farmers governments across Canada. Sterling Lyon managed to blow a majority in one term in Manitoba, 1977-81.
The typical scenario goes like this: brash young leader comes to power unexpectedly, spends like a drunk monkey, gets thrown out next election.
Trudeau might fit the mold.