The rise of Maxime Bernier’s party could cost the Conservatives some seats, polls suggest. At a recent campaign event, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole couldn’t quite bring himself to say the name of the man who could end up thwarting his shot at power. People’s Party of Canada (PPC) Leader Maxime Bernier has gone from leading a small fringe group with tepid support to heading up a right-wing party that, according to the CBC Poll Tracker, could have the fourth-highest share of the vote on Sept. 20. After the last election campaign, a CBC News analysis showed that — even with its rather dismal level of support — the PPC likely cost the Conservatives seven seats in the House of Commons by splitting the vote (six seats went to the Liberals, one to the NDP). With polls suggesting PPC support is now well above the 1.6 per cent of the vote it got last time, its impact could be even greater in 2021.