Here's how voting works in the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race

·2 min read

OTTAWA — The next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada will be named Sept. 10. Here's a look at how the voting process works:

Mail-in ballots:

The party says that of the 678,000 members who were eligible to vote in the contest, more than 400,000 sent their ballots back by Tuesday's deadline.

Before ballots are counted, they have to be processed as valid, which the party is doing at a headquarters in downtown Ottawa.

Final results will be unveiled at a convention on Sept. 10.

The protocols around voting were set by a committee of Conservatives appointed to create the rules for the leadership race.

Ranked choices:

Unlike in a general election, when voters can only make one choice on their ballot, the Conservative party picks its new leader through a ranked-ballot system.

That means members ranked their preferred choice for leader from first to last. There were initially six candidates in the race before Patrick Brown was disqualified by the party, so all six names will appear on the ballots.

The party says members who marked Brown as a first choice on their ballots will automatically have their votes go towards their second-choice candidates.

A candidate wins when they receive more than 50 per cent of the points. If that doesn't happen in the first count, the candidate who receives the lowest number of points will be eliminated.

When a candidate is eliminated, the votes they received from members who ranked them first will be transferred to the candidates those members ranked second.

If it is a tight battle, the process could be repeated up to three times, until only two candidates remain and one of them bests the other.


The party's membership base is split into 338 electoral districts in the same way the country is divided into federal ridings.

Each of these districts is assigned points. A recent change to how the Conservative party conducts leadership races stipulates that in order for a riding to be allotted 100 points, which is the maximum, it must have at least 100 members.

In ridings that have fewer than 100 party members, there will be one point per vote cast. Candidates were encouraged to sell party memberships to supporters living in areas that have low membership numbers.

Candidates will be assigned a point total based on their percentage of the vote in each riding.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept, 7, 2022.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press