Ontario Liberal Leadership: Pupatello extends lead in second round of voting

Matthew Coutts
National Affairs Reporter
Canada Politics

Members of Kathleen Wynne’s leadership campaign team were telling reporters they expected to be behind by about 100 votes after the second ballot at the Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention.

It wasn’t that much, but it was a far wider margin than they honestly would have liked.

Sandra Pupatello extended her lead to 67 delegate votes, after watching Wynne come within two votes in the earlier round of voting.

Speculation swirled about the fate of Charles Sousa and Gerard Kennedy, who only seem to have one card left to play: drop out and endorse one of the two frontrunners.

[ Related: First round of voting puts Wynne, Pupatello in virtual tie ]

Here are the vote counts after the second round of voting:

After Round 2:

  • Sandra Pupatello: 817 votes
  • Kathleen Wynne: 750 votes
  • Gerard Kennedy: 285 votes
  • Charles Sousa: 203 votes
  • Harinder Takhar: 18 votes

Previous vote count after Round 1:

  • Sandra Pupatello: 599 votes
  • Kathleen Wynne: 597 votes
  • Gerard Kennedy: 281 votes
  • Harinder Takhar: 235 votes
  • Charles Sousa: 222 votes
  • Eric Hoskins: 150 votes.

Takhar’s vote count took such a steep drop between rounds because he backed Pupatello without officially dropping out of the race. He will be officially removed from the next round of voting

The leadership race will continue until one of the candidates receive more than 50 per cent of the support.

[ Related: Ontario Liberal leadership candidates make pitch to be premier ]

Rumours swirled before the vote was announced of where trailing candidates would direct their supporters. Words like kingmaker (or, more specifically, queenmaker) began falling from lips around the former Maple Leaf Gardens.

It was reported that Kennedy may be preparing to send his delegates to join Wynne’s camp. Rumours suggested that Sousa could go either to Wynne or, more likely, Pupatello.

Eric Hoskins supported Wynne after being removed from the ballot following the first round, and Takhar has publicly thrown his weight behind Pupatello.

Now we wait and see what happens next.