Wakeham Claims PC Party Leadership With Second-Ballot Victory

PC Party Leader Tony Wakeham (VOCM News)

It took two ballots, but Tony Wakeham is the new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The results were announced Saturday evening during the party’s convention at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown St. John’s.

Wakeham defeated Eugene Manning on the second ballot after neither attained enough votes, or points, to secure the victory on the first go-around.

The results of the first ballott were: Eugene Manning: 1,636, Lloyd Parrott: 548, Tony Wakeham: 1,816.

Parrott was dropped from the race when he only garnered a third of what the others scored on the first ballot. The second choices on his ballots were then transferred to the other two candidates.

In the end, Wakeham sealed the deal with 2,091 points through a district scoring system, with votes cast over the past week through online and phone voting.

The three candidates wasted no time congratulating each other immediately after the results were announced, ensuring there was nothing but unity on display in the aftermath.

Wakeham laid out some lofty goals in his acceptance speech.

“(We) will build a place where life is affordable, health care is accessible, no opportunity is left untapped and no one is left behind,” he said. “A place where people want to live, not leave … a place not where you come from, but where you come to.”

Wakeham will be in the party leader’s seat when the House of Assembly reopens on Monday.

The party reported more than 90 per cent of those who were eligible to vote, did so in the leadership contest.

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