Manitoba Tory leadership: Liberal Mary Polak seeks court challenge

Image copyright Alok Jha Image caption “I’m not going to give up.”

The last person standing for Manitoba’s Conservative leadership says she is seeking a judicial review of the outcome of the last round of voting.

Normand St-Pierre finished last on the vote count by newspaper ballots but came fourth overall.

She now wants to challenge the leadership of Brandon-Souris MLA Brandon Sayers, who finished first and was elected to lead the Progressive Conservative Party on Friday.

The caucus has voted unanimously to support Mr Sayers, and was waiting for the decision from the leadership runner-up.

Scott Fielding was the second place finisher in the poll, winning less than one per cent of the votes.

Ms St-Pierre was competing for the role against three others.

“I have taken my concerns to the court.

“I’m not going to give up,” she told CBC News.

“I’m working hard. The fact is we have some very important work to do.

“I felt that once the fact of this election was determined, the next person selected by the people of Manitoba, Brandon Sayers, would be the person to take on the job, and he did so with 93%.

“He has committed himself to a process with transparency. He did so very well. I don’t think any of us can fault him on that.”

Timing of votes

The result of the leadership vote was announced on Friday at a meeting in Thompson, Manitoba. Mr Sayers received 6,000 votes – almost twice the amount of all the other candidates combined.

Two people threw their hats in the ring, but withdrew from the race before the contest started, leaving the three contestants to fight it out on the previous round of voting.

Of those votes, 7,485 were from newspaper ballot papers, while another 5,137 were from telephone and tablet voting. Of the latter two, 3,347 were from telephone voting and 2,791 were electronic voting.

The phone and computer systems were tested a day before the voting opened – but observers found some issues with the results the night of the vote.

Caucus members said that the voting logs should have been taken offline before counting, but this was not done.

Those logs showed Mr Fielding, who finished fourth overall, won more votes than had actually been cast, and that Ms St-Pierre finished last on the count by newspaper ballots, but came fourth overall.

There were suspicions of gaming the voting system – which included 3,288 votes that were considered ineligible because they had been mistakenly cast.

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