Top of Mind - February 21, 2011

What factors will determine the result of Saturday's provincial Liberal leadership vote?

That result won't just be determined by the number of new party members each candidate has signed-up. The efficiency of their vote - whether their supporters actually participate in the leadership selection process - will also be a factor. That factor could favour George Abbott, who arguably has the most motivated voters. And the Liberals previously existing membership base of 36,000 will also have a substantial say in determining who succeeds Gordon Campbell. That base was staunchly supportive of the premier prior to him announcing his resignation, with 84 percent of delegate selection meeting participants voting in favour of his leadership.

How much control will the candidates have in determining who their supporters select as their second choice on the party's preferential leadership ballot?

If no one receives more than 50 percent support the first time those votes are counted, Liberals who backed the last place candidate will have their second choices tabulated. The results will then be added to the remaining candidates' totals. This process will repeat until there's a winner. So those second choices will matter.

But losing candidates likely won't be able to play kingmaker, having little say over what their supporters do with that choice. The reason: party members will be casting their votes online or over the phone rather than on a convention floor - away from the influence of leadership campaign workers.

In addition, it's important to remember each campaign includes organizers whose second choice may differ from the candidate they're backing. And those organizers could have a greater say over the second choices made by the new party members they've recruited.

Leave a comment

Copyright © 2004 - Public Eye Mediaworks. Reproductions of any portion of this Website are permitted only with the expressed permission of Public Eye Mediaworks.
Canadian Web Hosting graciously provided by dotcanuck Web Services. Layout and graphics courtesy of Art Department Design.