The moniker ascribed to political aspirants for the top job in their political party.
The “Leader-in-Waiting” is never more attractive to political insiders than when an incumbent leader has lost some of their sheen and perceived re-electabilty. The “Leader-in-Waiting”, even if they’re a member of the incumbent cabinet, becomes an object of political desire and an avatar of new hope and success.
In an era of intensive media scrutiny, “horse-race” style coverage, and broad franchises (often one-member-one-vote) at party leadership conventions, the designation of “Leader-in-Waiting” is more often the kiss of death than an omen of certain success.
Some of the more spectacular flame-outs among Canadian Leaders-in-Waiting: John Turner, Kim Campbell, Paul Martin and, on the provincial scene, Jim Prentice, Ernie Eves, and Daniel Johnson Jr.
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