About 675,000 signed up to vote in federal Conservative leadership race: party

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OTTAWA — About 675,000 members have signed up to vote for a new leader of the federal Conservatives — a staggering number that the Tories believe sets an all-time record for any federal political party.

The party said it sent a preliminary voter list to candidates on Thursday and the final number is still subject to change, as leadership hopefuls will now be able to challenge the validity of any of those sign-ups.

Until the end of Monday, candidates will be allowed to issue challenges, which have to be substantiated, and the voter list will be finalized in July.

However, the party says some 6,500 non-compliant sales have already been cut — for example, those who signed up more than once or who used prepaid cards.

The party is not releasing how many members each individual candidate signed up, after Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre claimed he sold nearly 312,000 memberships through his website.

Five other candidates are vying for the top job: Conservative MPs Scott Aitchison and Leslyn Lewis, both from Ontario, former Quebec premier Jean Charest, Patrick Brown, the mayor of Brampton, Ont., and Roman Baber, a former Independent member of the Ontario legislature.

The winner will be announced in Ottawa on Sept. 10.

Ian Brodie, chair of the leadership election organizing committee, said Thursday there are now more members of the Conservative party than people in the city of Hamilton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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