Maxime Bernier favored as the Tories count the votes today for leader


Today, I plan to stay tuned to my iPad as the results come in for the Conservative leadership race. 

Of course, I’m not there at the Toronto Congress Centre today, but I plan to follow along on Twitter and tune in the live streams online. I wrote this piece previewing what to expect, but quite honestly I have been in the dark on a lot of things about this race, such as how many rounds of counting they are planning on doing. It looks like we could have as many as 12 ballots, which is an insane number, but it sounds like the vote count should actually go pretty quickly because it’s going to be all digitized and so on.

We are also largely in the dark about how many votes these candidates are expected to get, and I blame that on what seems like a lack of news media interest in this whole race. Trust me, if this were the United States, their media would’ve been going hog wild covering this vote and doing mounds of polling for it, so that we all had an idea what was actually happening. Unfortunately, we live in Canada, where no one cares, so the coverage has been basically consigned to cable. And most of what we are getting is pure speculation from these analysts as to what they think will happen. 

Personally, I’ve preferred CPAC’s coverage — they actually seem to have people on there who actually know what they’re talking about, unlike these other channels. Anyway, enough of that. 

A lot of people think it is going to come down to Maxime Bernier and Andrew Scheer, and I’m inclined to think that will be the case. A lot of people think Bernier just about has it wrapped up. We shall see.

As for possible surprises or upsets today — watch out for Pierre Lemieux. I’m seeing quite a few predictions out there that he could make it as high as third or fourth place on the first ballot. Which would be a surprise to a lot of people, but his campaign really has picked up momentum just in the last few weeks. When I asked Lemieux at the all-candidates in Lloydminster about how his campaign was doing, he sounded very confident, and he seemed to make a big impression on the people there with his social-conservative positions. So keep an eye on his vote totals.

Anyway, I may not be there at the convention today but I don’t feel deprived. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to cover this race, even while situated here in sunny Saskatchewan. Interesting thing about this race is that there are two candidates from Saskatchewan in the running, and that has given this particular leadership race more local relevance than usual. 

Here are links below to my stories from throughout the campaign.

That is it for now.

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