Federal Conservatives note record membership with leadership vote underway

Conservative party

Former Conservative cabinet minister Lisa Raitt, who is the co-chair of the party's leadership organizing committee, says candidates should be applauded for working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic to sign up new members to vote for a new leader.

The federal Tories announced yesterday 269,469 members are eligible to vote in the current leadership race -- largest membership in party history.

About 100,000 of those memberships were purchased since the start of the year, when the contest to replace current leader Andrew Scheer officially began.

The ridings that have seen the largest percentage growth are in non-traditional strongholds, including the riding of Papineau, the Montreal constituency held by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Voting is now underway by mail and a winner is to be announced in late August.