2004: How Stephen Harper Won

2004: How Stephen Harper Won

The Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties had merged in late 2003, leading to the new Conservative Party of Canada’s first leadership convention.

Stephen Harper used big numbers in western Canada — and better-then-expected results in southern Ontario — to win a first-ballot victory over Belinda Stronach and Tony Clement in March 2004.

Conservative members used a preferential ballot. Each federal riding received an equal number of points, regardless of membership size:

Only one round was necessary as Harper won a majority of the points across Canada:

Stephen Harper 16148.88 (55.5%)
Belinda Stronach 10196.16 (35.0%)
Tony Clement 2754.96 (9.5%)
TOTAL 29100


Here’s how it unfolded on CPAC on March 20, 2004:

-Andrew Thomson