Ford wins PC leadership

Tory MPP Toby Barrett who represents Haldimand-Norfolk

Tory MPP Toby Barrett who represents Haldimand-Norfolk

The most recent polling trends, in the run-up to the PC leadership vote, have put the NDP ahead of the Liberals in the polls (though both have been well behind the PC's in terms of the support that party held WITHOUT a leader).

Ford defeated former MPP Christine Elliott by a slim, 153-vote margin.

The announcement comes after a delay that lasted more than seven hours as party officials reviewed the results of the vote.

The voting was originally meant to end at 3:30 eastern but was extended by over 2 hours as technical difficulties, a tight race between Doug and Christine, and rumours of one candidate asking for a manual recount plagued the process.

Diane Ford told CP24 that her son Doug will "be a good leader because he's been a leader in anything he did".

A representative of the Mulroney campaign said all four campaigns were scrutinizing the ballots, and each camp brought in their lawyers to examine the process.

CBC News reported earlier Saturday that Ford had indeed won the snap, six-week leadership race, but party officials decided not to announce any results until outstanding questions over some disputed ballots could be answered.

Tacking toward the right of the political spectrum with a campaign built first on opposition to former leader Patrick Brown's carbon tax, Ford at various points promised to repeal or at least significantly curtail the current sex education curriculum in public schools.

"Obviously, I would have preferred Christine (Elliott)".

But despite calling her a close friend, Ford clawed into her in debates, questioning why she took an appointment as the province's first patient ombudsperson after leaving her post as MPP for Whitby-Oshawa in 2015.

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"Most importantly, thousands of members have been assigned to incorrect ridings; for example, Mount Hope, inside of Hamilton, had its members assigned to Chatham-Kent, several hundred kilometres away".

Elliott, however, is disputing the results, which she alleges stemmed from "serious irregularities" in the vote, and has pledged to investigate further.

The digital votes were printed on paper and run through the machines.

On Sunday afternoon, the party issued a statement confirming Ford as leader, saying "these results are definitive and provide a clear mandate" to him. The candidates themselves were not allowed in the room. He has vehemently denied the claims and has vowed to fight to defend his name.

Doug Ford spoke to supporters during a rally at the Water Tower Inn during the PC leadership campaign.

"Voting has just wrapped up, and to all who participated in this process - thank you!"

"This was pretty much the most mishandled party executive communication exercise I've ever witnessed on television", she said.

The PC Party announced late Saturday night that Ford, a former Toronto city councillor, had won the leadership contest on the third ballot. "So, yes, I think Doug can win", he said.

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

"Do not let the small differences ... of a leadership campaign distract us from our shared goal", he implored the audience.

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