Ford narrowly wins Ontario PC leadership after chaotic convention


Doug Ford has captured the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership by a razor-thin margin, the party announced late Saturday at the end of a chaotic convention and wild, unpredictable race.

The former city councilor with a populist, plain-spoken style won on the third ballot of the online election with just under 51 per cent of the electoral votes allocated to each riding, handing rival Christine Elliott her third straight defeat in three attempts at taking the party's leadership.

His win signals a move to the right for the Ontario Tories. Ford reached out to fiscal and social conservatives, promising to rewrite a controversial sex-education curriculum, and appearing open to exploring restrictions on abortion for underage girls.

He also vowed to abandon former leader Patrick Brown's promise to bring in a tax on carbon emissions, and to fight any attempt by the federal Liberal government to impose one on the province. Brown had tried to craft a more moderate, just right-of-centre platform.

Ford's victory came seven hours after the results were supposed to be announced, as a challenge that sources say was filed by Elliott threw the leadership convention into confusion.