Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
Doug Ford has won the leadership race of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario’s despite a recount launched by via a legal challenge by Christine Elliott’s campaign, according to reports from CBC News, citing multiple sources.
Lisa Thompson, chair of the party caucus, told the leadership convention to wait for another 30 minutes to hear from the PC Party chief electoral officer shortly after 6:40 p.m., but did not give any explanation on the current situation.
Thompson did say that those at the convention knew what was going on because of social media, a vague comment that appears to direct attendees to follow news reports.
A technical glitch was the initial reason given for the delayed announcement of election results, with lawyers for candidates Elliott and Ford meeting at the convention in the Hilton Conference Centre in Markham, near Toronto.
However, CBC News reported that is was not a physical glitch but the issue was over distribution on ballots in regards to the riding system used for the elections.
CBC’s Mike Crawley earlier reported that he was told a legal challenge was occurring and that the results between front runners Elliott and Ford were close.
One source told CBC News that Elliott’s legal challenge was rejected.
Just after 4:30 p.m., CBC News reported that there is a technical issue with a voting machine and that either Elliott or Ford launched a legal inquiry.
He also reported that out of Elliot and Ford, one candidate has more than 50 per cent of the overall ballots cast and one has 50 per cent of the electoral college.
A candidate can lose the election but still have the over popular vote won, but will win the election with the majority of the member electorates either way.
One of the leadership candidates requesting a recount, reported CP24 at 4:10 p.m., without identifying the candidate.
Reports from the event say that results are within 0.5 per cent, or about 320 votes.
Lawyers were scrambled on site for the candidates, according to Toronto Star reporters that said it was not “routine scrutineering”, when candidates legally question results.
There has been no official statement from convention organizers or PC Party officials, with politicians, party members and others milling about confused at the convention since around 3:15 p.m., with some questioning reporters on the latest details.
Mr. Crawley said that he heard on the floor that Caroline Mulroney came fourth in the first round of the ranked ballot.
Analysts and polls show that after Ford and Elliott, Mulroney is ranked third and Tanya Grenic Allen fourth.
Allen handed out water to reporters shortly after 4 p.m. but did not answer questions about the technical glitches or the reported “scutineering”.
The PC Party of Ontario is set to elect a new leader at the Hilton Conference Centre in Markham, just outside Toronto.
Some 64,000 members of the party voted in the brief election, which several candidates called to be extended.
It was initially reported that first ballot results will be announced at around 3 p.m. in a race that the latest poll points to Christine Elliot and Doug Ford as being nearly tied for the lead, according to Mainstreet.
The Avro Post will be covering the event via live tweeting.
The vote works in the way of a preferential ballot, so second or third place selection by party members could determine a winner as much as a first choice.
The federal Conservative Party leadership that elected Andrew Scheer worked the same way.
It was Maxime Bernier who won several rounds of the ballot before the final run-off, when Scheer won.
Whoever wins the Progressive Conservative leadership race will face off against Liberal Party Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath.
There will be no media availability for the winner of the PC leadership race, and none of the candidates know the winner ahead of the announcement unlike the federal leadership race.
The dramatic circumstances leading up to Saturday’s vote that included the resignation of former leader Patrick Brown and his brief contention in the race have framed the election of a new Progressive Conservative chief.
At least two weeks of of the sudden six-week race called after Brown left following allegations of sexual misconduct had coverage related to Brown’s entry and quick exit from the race.
A leadership race was called after the party executive met on Jan. 26, following Brown’s resignation on Jan. 25, and brought about four contenders: Christine Elliot, Doug Ford, Caroline Mulroney and Tanya Grenic Allen.
All contenders have largely disregarded Brown’s party platform, the People’s Guarantee, and three of the contenders plan to bring the party further right in regards to social and fiscal conservative policies, say analysts.
More details to follow. Image of the PC Party logo from previous files.