Conservative leadership race enters new phase as membership deadline nears

Candidates have until midnight to secure party membership to vote in the election of the next Conservative leader, who will replace Erin O’Toole.

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The time limit marks a major milestone in the campaign and the start of a new phase in the race.

The party leadership’s election organizing committee said late last month it had broken the record for how many new members candidates had before the June 3 cutoff.


“The party’s membership in the last two leadership races has been around 270,000 people, with only about 60 percent of the vote,” said veteran conservative campaigner Melanie Paradis, who has remained neutral in the race.

“From what I have heard from party sources, the number will now be north of 400,000. That means we probably have 250,000 renewals and 150,000 new members.”

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Leadership candidates have encouraged potential voters to sign up to vote over the past several months. In the last days…