OTTAWA, Ont. — Canada’s Conservative Party voted overwhelmingly for Pierre Poilievre as its next leader, a result announced to the surprise of few on Saturday night in downtown Ottawa.
Poilievre is now positioned to lead Canada’s second-largest political party into a campaign against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, an election that could be as far away as 2025 — but could also come much sooner.
The 43-year-old MP kept a torrid pace during a seven-month campaign that attracted unusually large crowds to rallies in arenas and banquet halls all over the country. The frontrunner campaign signed up more than 300,000 new voting members.
A majority of the 417,987 voters rewarded Poilievre with a first-ballot win. He racked up 22,993.42 points — well above the 16,900 required to secure the victory in a system that assigns 100 points to each of Canada’s 338 ridings.
That was good enough for 68.15 percent of the vote. His closest rival, Jean Charest, finished second with 16 percent of points. Leslyn Lewis, the de facto social conservative candidate in the race, wound up third with 9.7 percent. Roman Baber and Scott Aitchison rounded out the field, managing 5 and 1 percent, respectively.
The Ottawa event drew a crowd of more than 1,000 though the celebration was muted in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday. Organizers even canceled a contract that would have showered the Shaw Centre hall with C$8,000 worth of confetti.
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