Elliott meeting with Ford after refusing to concede Ontario PC race

12 March, 2018, 10:46 | Author: Bert Pena

"I am disheartened. I am embarrassed by what is happening here tonight", said Klees, a Ford supporter, who lashed out at Elliott's camp for apparently contesting the results.

Elliott's statement followed a meeting with Ford that appeared to put to rest any notion that she would continue a challenge to his win after a chaotic leadership convention on Saturday.

The governing Liberals were quick to denounce Ford, who is known for being the brother of late scandal-plagued mayor Rob Ford. Christine Elliott came in second, 153 points behind Ford on the final ballot. Ford, alleging that party insiders are only getting the registration materials out to select members, says the election process was "not transparent". Thousands of members' votes, it said, had been assigned to incorrect ridings.

"Our scrutineers identified entire towns voting in the wrong riding".

The survey, conducted by Mainstreet Research and not sponsored by a third party, found that Christine Elliott has a slight edge over Doug Ford but it's virtually neck-and-neck.

"I will stand up for these members and plan to investigate the extent of this discrepancy", she said.

It's up to new leader, Doug Ford, to unite the PC's ahead of the June election.

Former Premier Mike Harris also called on Elliott to concede.

The chair of the party's leadership committee Hartley Lefton made the announcement just after 7:20 p.m.

"I have been a proud Progressive Conservative for over 25 years and my commitment remains steadfast".

"The people of Ontario want the Ontario Liberals gone and they deserve nothing less", Ford, who was flanked by Granic Allen, told the sparse but enthusiastic crowd in Markham, Ont., that remained to hear the results.

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He agreed any challenge would be a distraction and make things hard for the party to move forward as a united caucus as it heads toward the provincial election.

It's not yet clear where Elliott run. But Elliott can challenge that through the courts if she chooses.

William Coleman, a staunch Ford supporter, said he was angry at the party's handling of what should have been a turning point and anxious the delays and confusion over who won could affect the party's image at a time when it is striving to appear united and authoritative.

The survey found that in terms of votes among decided voters, Elliott is in the lead with 38.3 per cent, while Ford has 32.2 per cent support.

Romano said Ford had a strong following and believes he will be an effective leader.

It looks even better for Ford when Granic Allen is taken out of the equation, as the survey found most of her votes would go to him.

It's Wynne's unpopularity that political analyst Marvin Ryder says is giving Ford an edge, at least for now. "Our Party needs Christine more than ever and we are fortunate to have her on our team as we get to work to achieve this goal". We are literally days away from the beginning of the election campaign.

"Doug Ford is an antidote to that deeply rooted and growing cynicism, which poses a nightmare for Kathleen Wynne, who personifies that voter discontent", wrote James Wallace. "They have to make it a team effort", he said.

Over the course of the campaign triggered by former Tory leader Patrick Brown's departure amid sexual misconduct allegations, Ford repeatedly vowed wrest control of the party from elites and give a voice to the grassroots members.


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