675,000 Conservative Party members will be eligible to vote for the new leader in September – more than twice the number of voters in the last leadership election in 2020.
On Thursday, the Conservative Party of Canada released its preliminary list of members. The list will be shared with the candidates to review, and they’ll have until Monday to request members be removed or added to the list.
The preliminary list also gives campaigns the opportunity to reach out to members to try to win their support and change their vote.
“What we have here is really an extraordinary and historic growth of the membership list,” the chair of the party’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee Ian Brodie told CBC News.
“Campaigns have had an extraordinary reach across this country into the lives of Canadians to engage them in this race.”
According to the party, approximately 613,000 members signed up between February and June. In comparison, 269,469 members were eligible to vote in the 2020 leadership race.
The party will not release details on how many members were signed up through individual campaigns, though they say most members signed up online.
According to a True North online survey released in June, 78.5% of Conservative members rank Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre as their first choice for leader.
In total, 6,394 people responded to the web survey which was open at www.tnc.news for two weeks from Jun. 8 to Jun. 22.
Results show that among those who identified as active members, Poilievre had the overwhelming lead on the first ballot with 78.5% of the vote. Poilievre was followed by fellow MP Leslyn Lewis who scored in at 11.8% and then Roman Baber who received 8.7%
0.7% picked Jean Charest on their first ballot, 0.2% picked Scott Aitchison and 0.1% picked Patrick Brown.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown recently told CBC News that he would consider running for re-election in Brampton if it looks like he’s going to lose to Poilievre in September.
“If it looks like Pierre is going to win, I would prefer to continue to serve municipally, rather than being a part of what will be an electoral train wreck of the Conservative Party,” Brown said.
In recent weeks, Brown lost his campaign co-chair Michelle Rempel Garner and his campaign manager Sean Schnell. Further, two of the four Conservative MPs who endorsed Brown switched their support to Poilievre’s campaign.