As candidates of the Ontario Liberal leadership race head into the final stretch, former Windsor MPP Sandra Pupatello has the most support among committed delegates, with Don Valley West MPP Kathleen Wynne a close second.
Last weekend, party members selected delegates to attend the leadership convention in Toronto from Jan. 25 to 27.
Each constituency association from Ontario’s 107 ridings is sending 16 delegates, while each Liberal student club is sending eight delegates and each Liberal women’s club is sending one delegate.
Pupatello emerged first from the weekend, securing 504 delegates, which represents 27.44 per cent support, according to the Ontario Liberal Party.
Wynne is close behind with 463 delegates, or 25.2 per cent.
Former Parkdale-High Park MPP and MP Gerard Kennedy came in third with 257 delegates, or 13.99 per cent.
In fourth place was Mississauga-area MPP Harinder Takhar with 244 delegates or 13.28 per cent.
Another Mississauga-area MPP, Charles Sousa, is fifth with 198 delegates or 10.78 per cent.
In last place is St. Paul’s MPP Eric Hoskins with 104 delegates or 5.66 per cent support.
While Pupatello is first with the most support of committed delegates, the role of undeclared delegates will play a role in crowning the winning candidate.
There are 67 independent delegates voting at the convention, representing 3.65 per cent.
Toronto Centre MPP Glen Murray dropped out of the race last week and threw his support behind Wynne.
Meanwhile, last weekend’s delegate selection numbers do not include a significant number of ex-officio members including MPPs, former MPPs, Liberal MPs from Ontario and party executive members.
At the convention, if no candidate secures more than 50 per cent of the vote, the candidate with the fewest votes in each round will drop out of the race and his or her delegates will vote for the remaining candidates until a winner emerges.
The winning candidate at the convention will automatically become premier, replacing Premier Dalton McGuinty.