A look at what Sandra Pupatello and Kathleen Wynne will have to do in the frantic last leg of the party leadership campaign
Turning elected delegates into real ones
Just because Sandra Pupatello won 506 committed delegates in this past weekend’s voting, and Kathleen Wynne 468, does not mean all those people will necessarily attend the Liberals’ Jan. 25-26 convention. So the campaigns will be tracking their own supporters, trying to help with logistical challenges in getting to Toronto, and in some cases with costs that include a delegate fee of up to $600.
The campaigns will thus be tracking their own supporters this week and next, trying to help with logistics and in some cases with raising money to offset costs.
When delegates don’t show up, the campaigns have the opportunity to replace them with “alternates.” That adds another task: finding people willing to give up a chunk of their weekend to wait on standby.
Path to victory
Neither Ms. Pupatello (28 per cent) nor Ms. Wynne (26 per cent) is close to a majority of delegates, so both will continue to try to pave the way for convention-floor deals with other candidates.
It appears likeliest, albeit far from certain, that Gerard Kennedy (14 per cent) will go to Ms. Wynne, and Harinder Takhar (13 per cent) to Ms. Pupatello. That promises to make Charles Sousa (11 per cent) and Eric Hoskins (6 per cent) especially popular.
Leading up to the delegate elections, Ms. Wynne’s campaign was seen to be more respectful of the other candidates than Ms. Pupatello’s, which could help her. But both will be downright solicitous now.
Wooing the undecideds
In addition to the 1,863 elected delegates, more than 400 party elites are entitled to attend the convention. While Ms. Pupatello leads among this group, there are still votes up for grabs, including even a few current caucus members.
The voting also produced 67 independent delegates; while many were previously supporters of former candidate Glen Murray, there is no guarantee they’ll support Ms. Wynne as he has.
In a similar vein, it remains to be seen how many delegates will follow defeated candidates across the floor. So any delegates who aren’t already committed to Ms. Pupatello or Ms. Wynne can expect to soon be hearing from their campaigns – and possibly from the candidates themselves, who will spend much time working the phones this week and next.