The Durham MP won the race to replace Andrew Scheer as leader of the party in a physically distanced hybrid convention Sunday night. That capped off a campaign forced to pivot repeatedly to adjust to life and politics in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
This race was the second at bat for O’Toole after he previously ran and lost to Scheer in the 2017 Conservative leadership race, taking third place in that campaign.
But O’Toole clinched the win on the third ballot in a reveal that came roughly six hours after it had been scheduled to take place Sunday at 6 p.m. ET but stretched into Monday morning after repeated delays.
Conservative officials said thousands of ballots were damaged by machines used to open the envelopes containing the ballots, and had to be closely scrutinized to ensure they were accurately tallied.
Party members have for weeks been mailing in their ranked ballots for who they want to replace Andrew Scheer as the next leader of the Conservative Party and the campaigns were forced to shift from the normal course of in-person outreach and fundraising to digital activities.
In total, roughly 175,000 party members cast ballots.
The Conservative leadership race was conducted via ranked ballot in which candidates won points based on the percentage of the votes they got in each of the country’s 338 ridings.