Ed Stelmach - 2006 Leadership Election

2006 Leadership Election

Stelmach was the first candidate to declare his intention to run for the P.C. leadership, and picked up endorsements from nineteen members of his caucus (including cabinet ministers Pearl Calahasen and Iris Evans). However, former provincial Treasurer Jim Dinning had twice as many caucus endorsements (despite not having held elected office since 1997) and was generally considered the race's front-runner. Stelmach ran a low-profile campaign, touring the province in a custom-painted campaign bus, while most media attention was focussed on the rivalry between Dinning and the socially conservative Ted Morton.

According to the race's rules, the three candidates receiving the most votes on the first ballot would move on to a second ballot, which would use a preferential voting system to select a winner. Stelmach finished third on the first ballot with 15.3% of the vote, 3,329 votes ahead of fourth place Lyle Oberg and 10,647 votes behind second place Morton. However, the fourth, fifth, and sixth place candidates (Oberg, Dave Hancock, and Mark Norris) all endorsed Stelmach for the second ballot. On this ballot, he finished in first place on the first count, fewer than five hundred votes ahead of Dinning. A majority of Morton's votes went to Stelmach on the second count, and he was elected leader.

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