More than half of Conservative party members have returned their leadership ballots with one week before the deadline Sept. 6. Federal Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre holds a campaign rally in Toronto, Saturday, April 30, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

More than half of Conservative party members have returned their leadership ballots with one week before the deadline Sept. 6. Federal Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre holds a campaign rally in Toronto, Saturday, April 30, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Over half of Conservative members have voted for new leader one week before deadline

More than half of Conservative party members have returned their leadership ballots with one week left before the deadline on Sept. 6.

The party says just over 350,000 ballots have been received from the 678,000 people who are eligible to vote in the contest.

Leadership candidates and their teams have spent the last few weeks with their heads down, working to ensure their supporters cast a vote.

Front-runner Pierre Poilievre, who has been hosting large rallies across the country throughout the campaign, held his final meet-and-greet yesterday in Vancouver.

Many in the party expect the longtime member of Parliament to win, but campaign organizers for Jean Charest, the former Quebec premier and Poilievre’s main rival, said they believe they have the points needed to win a narrow victory.

The next leader will be announced at a convention in Ottawa on Sept. 10.