Conservative Leadership 2020: The Rules

Conservative Leadership 2020: The Rules

By Andrew Thomson | UPDATED June 19, 2020 10:03amET


The COVID-19 pandemic forced a five-week suspension to the Conservative leadership campaign and changes to the timeline, which originally called for a late-June election.

  • In-person voting has been scrapped. Members will submit their ballots by mail, along with a declaration form and proof of identity, by 5pmET on Aug. 21. The date for announcing the winner has yet to be confirmed.
  • The deadline for party membership (ensuring voting eligibility) was pushed back from April 17 to May 15.

Those looking to replace Andrew Scheer needed to register by February 27. And by March 25 they had to:

  • pay a $200,000 non-refundable registration fee (in installments) and $100,000 compliance deposit for good conduct
  • obtain 3,000 signatures of support from party members in at least 30 different ridings across at least seven provinces or territories

Less money and support was required was to run in 2017: $100,000 for registration with a $50,000 compliance deposit, and 300 signatures of support. But the spending limit remained the same: $5 million.

These were the steps Leslyn Lewis, Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole, and Derek Sloan had to take:

Source: Conservative Party of Canada

Some Conservatives thought the 2017 requirements and spending limit were too high and would lead to fewer candidates. Instead, fundraising remained strong, according to party officials. Fourteen people were ultimately on the ballot, with Andrew Scheer narrowly defeating Maxime Bernier in the 13th round.

Conservative party officials admitted, though, that financial incentives could have reduced the field earlier on.

Voters had to be a Conservative Party of Canada member as of May 15.

Read the original rules and COVID-19 alterations: