Ford meeting with Elliott day after close convention result

Tim Hudak

The survey, which was conducted between March 1 to 8 and polled 18,308 members of the Ontario PC Party, found that when calculating for points per riding, Elliott would get 35.2 per cent on the first ballot, and Ford would garner 34.9 per cent.

Party executives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Ford's allegations Thursday, but have previously said they were aware of concerns over delays in getting members the documents they need to vote.

"That is less than half of the membership", Radnoff said.

The decision means that for the third time, former MPP Christine Elliott's bid to become the leader of the party, failed by only small numbers.

Also on the leadership ballot are Caroline Mulroney and Tayna Granic Allen.

Either way, the spirit of Trump has crossed back across the border into Ontario, whence the whirlwind originated all those years ago with little brother Rob Ford.

"The billions in cuts they are promising and the divisive social conservative policies they are championing will hurt Ontario's economy and change our province for the worse".

Thousands of party faithful gathered at the Hilton Convention Centre in Markham Saturday afternoon hoping to anoint the leader to carry them into the upcoming provincial elections. It noted that there had been an issue with the allocation of certain electoral votes but the matter was reviewed and resolved.

Lefton dismissed assembled party members from the hall they'd occupied since late Saturday morning, saying the organization no longer had access to the premises.

"Tonight is a sign there is a lot of work ahead of us", Ford said, alluding to the challenges of the day.

His populist message and critique of the political establishment will likely win him some supporters, Siemiatycki said.

Others appeared undisturbed, saying the hurdles would be long forgotten once a leader was chosen.

Vic Fedeli, the interim party leader said in his outgoing speech to party members the Tories needed to stay united.

"Clearly, a significant number of members of the party, including the applicant, have been deprived of their right to vote as guaranteed in the party's constitution", Radnoff wrote in an email.

Speakers earlier in the afternoon had urged party unity given all the tumult since Patrick Brown stepped down as leader just six weeks ago, after being accused of sexual improprieties involving young women.

Brown tweeted his congratulations to Ford on his victory. "His representatives at [the Leadership Election Organizing Committee] have sat silently in our meetings for days, never bringing up such issues".

"We all fought hard, every one of us, and I can assure that each of you will fill a critical role in our government".

Saturday's delay in announcing a victor was the latest in a long list of challenges that have plagued the party since Brown's departure.

Today, the PCs are seeking a mandate to take over the reins of government - not so much on their supposed strength, but on the presumed fatigue of the incumbent Liberal government led by an unpopular Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Related news: