The five-month sprint to the Conservative Party leadership election will force the contenders to rely more on digital tools like Facebook and email than they did during the last contest in 2017, shifting the campaigns away from phone calls and handshakes, say strategists and Conservative digital specialists.

“I think that the truth is, it’s really hard to do the traditional stuff in this really short time-frame. I think that the digital stuff, there will probably be a big push by everybody,” said Georganne Burke, the campaign manager for Conservative MP and leadership hopeful Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia-Bambton, Ont.).

The 2020 Conservative leadership campaign will be different from the contest that put Andrew Scheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle, Sask.) at the helm of the party in 2017. It will be much shorter this time—166 days, where the 2017 campaign lasted more than a year—and will very likely feature a handful of candidates, instead of the 14 who ran three years ago. 

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