Ford declared PC victor late Saturday, Elliott not present

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Voting in the PC leadership contest is already closed, and results will be announced at the party's convention on Saturday. On March 9, the day before the convention, the judge ruled there would be no extension.

Romano said Ford had a strong following and believes he will be an effective leader.

The digital votes were printed on paper and run through the machines.

"This case turns on the balance of convenience", Archibald wrote in his six-page decision.

"This party is very clearly very fractured".

The newly crowned leader of Ontario's beleaguered Opposition is no longer being challenged by his main rival, who refused to concede for almost a day.

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Archibald said the fact alone that the disenfranchised members did not attempt to resolve the issue first within party was grounds for dismissal of the claim. But Elliott can challenge that through the courts if she chooses. Elliott wrote in an email to party members that was obtained by The Daily Caller.

"We've seen in the last ten years what the Liberals and the NDP together have done: bringing in the Green Energy Act, making hydro more expensive, and they've almost tripled the debt over the last decade", he explains. Balloons were supposed to be dropping from the ceiling at the Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre about 3 p.m.

"Every night we raised more money than we did the night before". The committee also approves Brown's competitors in the contest, save for Mulroney who had previously been vetted when she secured a riding nomination in late 2016.

The race was prompted by former leader Patrick Brown's resignation on January 25 after two women accused him of sexual misconduct. She acknowledged that the online system wasn't flawless but added that no system to select a leader ever is.

"I'd be proud to serve under any of you", Fedeli said.

The party decided against prolonging the race late Wednesday, saying that doing so would contravene its constitution. Party members in each district were mailed registration information, including numbers to use to access the online voting system.

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Lefton added that the party will review the race with an eye to correcting mistakes made and improving future races.

Ford made little mention of the review or the delays in his victory speech, focusing instead on the June election in which he will now face Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Ford thanked Elliott for her statement and called her "a great friend" in a tweet Sunday night.

However, when it comes to defeating Kathleen Wynne, Conservatives feel Elliott is the better candidate for the job with 43.4 per cent saying Elliott, compared to 35.5 per cent who believe Ford could do it. Recent polls have suggested he is viewed negatively by an unusually high number of voters for an incoming opposition leader. "In a race this close, largely determined by geography, someone needs to stand up for these members", Elliott said in her earlier statement.

McNaughton says the party will be putting forward some pretty substancial policies to change the direction and make Ontario competitive again.

Adherents of the family's gritty populism are known as Ford Nation, and the family holds an annual Ford Fest picnic for all of them, usually in the yard of family matriarch Diane Ford, widow of Doug Ford Sr. who had a short stint as a PC member of the Ontario legislature in the 1990s.

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This is a breaking news story and will be updated.