Poilievre sports new summer look aimed at improving likability

By Cormac Mac Sweeney and Greg Bowman

Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre looked a little different in his public appearances lately.

The Tory leader could be seen recently without his glasses on, wearing a t-shirt instead of a tie, and talking in a slow, calm voice.

The Toronto Star reports it is part of a larger effort in the party to turn around the polls that show many Canadians have a negative view of Poilievre personally. Later this summer, a new ad campaign will reportedly be unveiled to try and soften his image.

It’s a risky move that may not pay off, says Lori Williams, a political science professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

“It’s difficult when you’ve got this long series of videos and photographs and memes, and so forth that can be used against a leader who has said and done a lot of things that are controversial,” she told CityNews.

She says changing a politician’s image is more about looks, saying there needs to be something more substantive behind it as integrity and policy matter to voters.

“Do they believe what they’re seeing? Does it seem like just a marketing ploy? An attempt at winning over voters by changing the surface? Or is there something more substantive to it?” Williams questioned.

Williams speculates poor performance from Conservatives in Toronto’s mayoral race and other byelection results have sparked the change from the Tory leader.

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