Record Membership Numbers Shape the 2023 Ontario Liberal Party Leadership Race

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First Leadership Debate in Thunder Bay on Thursday

TORONTO, ON – The 2023 Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) Leadership contest has reached a significant milestone as the primary membership registration deadline passed today at 6:00 PM. With the books now closed, the OLP boasts an impressive estimated membership tally of over 80,000 eligible voters for the upcoming November leadership vote.

Membership Surge Surpasses Previous Contests

In a notable comparison to previous contests, the surge in OLP membership stands as a testament to the party’s grassroots appeal. In 2013, a total of 44,000 members were eligible to cast their votes during the OLP Leadership contest, a figure that increased to 38,000 members during the 2020 leadership race.

Interim Leader Acknowledges Efforts

John Fraser, Interim Leader of the OLP, expressed his gratitude for this surge in membership, stating, “I want to thank all of the grassroots Ontarians who have joined our party in record numbers, and each of the leadership candidates and their teams for the hard work they are doing to engage with communities across our province.”

By-election Victories Propel Momentum

The news of this record-breaking membership surge follows two crucial by-election victories in Scarborough–Centre and Kanata–Carleton. Fraser underscored the significance of these wins, stating, “Ontarians are fed up with Doug Ford’s billion-dollar backroom deals, and are finding a new home in the Ontario Liberal Party. Ontario Liberals will continue to fight for the brighter future that families deserve, and build on this momentum as we prepare for another by-election in Kitchener Centre, and success in 2026.”

Student Club Registration Deadline Extended

For potential members of student clubs on post-secondary campuses, there is still an opportunity to join the OLP. The deadline for registration has been extended by two weeks, providing students with the chance to become members until Tuesday, September 26th, 2023.

Voting Dates Announced

The much-anticipated voting process for the leadership contest is set to take place via ranked ballots on Saturday, November 25, 2023, and Sunday, November 26, 2023. The counting of ballots and the announcement of round-by-round results will occur on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

Leadership Debates

The excitement surrounding the leadership contest kicks off with the first of five debates scheduled for Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 PM in Thunder Bay. To stay informed about the 2023 Leadership contest and catch the live stream of Thursday’s debate, visit ontarioliberal.ca/leadership/.

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