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Five things to know about how the Conservatives will choose their new leader


OTTAWA — Today is the last day for ballots in the Conservative party leadership race to be submitted. A winner will be revealed on Sunday night.

Here are five things to know about how a new leader will be chosen from among the four people on the ballot.

Eligible voters

The party says 269,469 are eligible to vote in the Conservative leadership. As of midday Friday, over 165,000 ballots had been received, which is more than were cast in total during the 2017 leadership race.

Mail-in ballots

The party has always used a mail-in ballot. The requirement is in its constitution. In the 2017 vote, about 90 per cent of ballots were submitted this way, and the remainder were cast in person at the convention. This time, it is 100 per cent by mail due to social distancing requirements in place for COVID-19.

Points system

While it's one vote per member, the winner isn't chosen based on those totals. Instead, each of the 338 federal ridings in Canada are allocated 100 points. How many points each candidate gets is determined by what percentage of the vote they get in a given riding. To win, a candidate will need 16,901 points.

Multiple choice

It's a ranked ballot. Party members can choose up to four people they'd like to see as leader, ranking them from first to last. But even if they only choose one, that ballot will still be counted.

Rounds of results

Second, third and fourth choices matter. Ranked ballots are counted in rounds. If no candidates receives the majority of points in the first round, the person with the lowest number of points is removed from the ballot. Those who voted for that person will now have their ballots counted again, this time with their second choice being included in the tally. The process continues until a winner is selected.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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