We know tallying up and announcing the result of most political party leadership races can take up oh, several hours. But little did Ontario's Progressive Conservatives know the adventure awaiting them at the Hilton Convention Centre in Markham, Ont. on Saturday.
The hours of their lives they'd never get back!
It all started with a speech by someone super-relevant who could really get Ontario conservatives excited: Jason Kenney, the leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party.
Any thoughts on why Jason Kenney is in the house. I'm confused.— Terry Hamilton (@terryham62) March 10, 2018
Then, interim leader Vic Fedeli gave a rousing cry for unity in the party, ending his speech with a heads up that the bar was open.
Naturally, someone started a parody Twitter account FOR THE BAR.
Various news outlets reported that the four leadership candidates, Christine Elliott Doug Ford, Caroline Mulroney and Tanya Granic Allen were set to take the stage at 3 p.m.
UH OH. A SNAG?!
— NEWSTALK1010 (@NEWSTALK1010) March 10, 2018
BREAKING: Sources tell the @TorontoStar that lawyers for some leadership candidates are calling for a manual recount of the 64,000 ballots cast online. They have been printed and counted once already. #onpoli#pcpoldr— Robert Benzie (@robertbenzie) March 10, 2018
Time ticked away. Candy Crush, anybody?
Some said Christine Elliott and Doug Ford were locked in a room together.
Others said Elliott had left the convention centre.
Some said Elliott was still in the building.
Just got a peek inside the room Doug Ford is in. He's sitting at a table looking pissssssed.— Allison Smith (@QueensParkToday) March 10, 2018
Reporters were parched and hungry.
Please. Please I'm so hungry and want to go home.— Chris Selley (@cselley) March 11, 2018
A CP24 reporter said a wedding was supposed to happen at 5 p.m. in the same venue.
And then! Doug Ford emerged from the green room, smiling. Doug Ford's wife later emerged from the green room, not smiling. Alas, seems like it was a bathroom break.
WHAT, CBC WENT FOR IT AND DECLARED A WINNER (unofficially and based on sources).
WAIT. Was CBC in fact wrong?
BREAKING: After a fraught voting session, all the ballots have been counted and the new leader of the Ontario PC party is an old campaign poster of Mike Harris that was in Jerry's trunk #ONpoli— Norm Wilner (@normwilner) March 10, 2018
5 p.m. passed. There was no wedding, reported TVO. What a red herring.
Still no word from PC party officials.
In the PC Ontario Convention room, just ran into 3 Christine Elliott supporters who are hitting the bar. I also see 5 Doug Ford supporters on their 2nd glass of wine. Drinks for very different reasons... https://t.co/QGTI32Xobu— Chris Glover (@chrisgloverCBC) March 10, 2018
A CP24 host suggested that people might just want to go up the road to the Kelsey's and get something to eat. (Editor's note: Lady, nobody ever wants to go up to Kelsey's.)
The crowd's hopes surged with sight of a podium!
Caucus chair Lisa Thompson took the stage at 6:30, full of energy.
Lisa Thompson congratulates the crowd on keeping up the great energy all day. This is not the correct take away from this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/SUVuFx4PfS— Allison Smith (@QueensParkToday) March 10, 2018
"You've all been watching Twitter, you know what's going on," she said. Then she told the crowd to wait for 30 more minutes to hear from organizing chair Hartley Lefton.
An announcement to announce there would be a wait for another announcement.
BOOOOOOOO, said the crowd.
Fifty minutes later, Lefton appeared onstage with Thompson. U.S. band Portugal, the Man is playing in the background.
Ontario PC party official Hartley Lefton announces that review of results is underway, says will be resolved "as soon as practically possible" & asks members at leadership event "to please go home to await the results." #PCPOldr#onpoli#cdnpolipic.twitter.com/NRyV8PkZqc— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) March 11, 2018
Everyone got kicked out because the party only booked the room until 7 p.m.
They didn't think to book the room for the night but they think they can run the province??? #PCPOLdr— Sandra DiLiso (@fragola72) March 11, 2018
Even you, victory balloons. Go home.
BUT THEN, A PLOT TWIST. At 7:53 p.m., new hope from CBC Queen's Park reporter Mike Crawley.
PC organizer of the event just said results will be announced in 5 minutes. "This time we mean 5 minutes" he added. pic.twitter.com/KYeFU0QCau— Mike Crawley (@CBCQueensPark) March 11, 2018
(It wasn't five minutes.) At 10 p.m.:
PC spokesman telling media that someone is coming to announce new PC leader shortly, says "...the next leader will make a brief statement but HE will not be taking any questions at this time."— Janelle (@pastorjanelle) March 11, 2018
There's only one male running, so I guess we know who our new leader is... #PCPOLdr
Huh, that was a spoiler.
Next time #PCPOLdr should consider giving the ballot counting business to the Phoenix payroll people.— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) March 10, 2018
Well, congrats, Doug Ford on officially being named the new Ontario PC leader in a very clear, exciting, concise fashion.
Doug Ford, newly elected leader of the Ontario PC Party:— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) March 11, 2018
"To the party members, I say: Thank you. To the people of Ontario, I say: Relief is on its way. And to Kathleen Wynne, I say: Your days as premier are numbered." #PCPOldr#onpoli#cdnpolipic.twitter.com/161ZdUNycI
And now we all sleep for a million sleeps.
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