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Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie calls for his own leadership review

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie greets supporters in St. John’s after the final election results Thursday night.
Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie greets supporters in St. John’s after the final election results May 15. - Keith Gosse file photo/The Telegram

Party constitution also being overhauled

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie has asked for a leadership review for himself. 

Crosbie issued the call the day before the Progressive Conservative party holds its annual convention in Gander over the weekend. 

The PC party constitution does not call for an automatic review of leadership at each convention, but Crosbie says in the spirit of democratic reform, he put out the call. 

“This is typical of modern party constitutions, to have such a provision after a general election,” said Crosbie. 

“Since I ran for the leadership 18 months ago and consistently during the general election, I made it clear that I’m pro-democratic reform. This is just one of those things that a modern party constitution needs to have.”

Crosbie says an overhaul of the party’s constitution is underway. The leadership review would not happen at the coming convention, but instead come at some point next spring. 

An MQO poll commissioned by NTV News shows Crosbie is in third place among those polled in preference for premier. The poll shows a 34 per cent preference for Premier Dwight Ball, a 16 per cent preference for New Democratic Party Leader Alison Coffin and 13 per cent in favour of Crosbie. Another 36 per cent said they don’t know, while two per cent chose Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance Leader Graydon Pelley. 

Since I ran for the leadership 18 months ago and consistently during the general election, I made it clear that I’m pro-democratic reform.
This is just one of those things that a modern party constitution needs to have. — Ches Crosbie 

Crosbie didn’t say whether the numbers prompted his decision to call the review.

“Polls are up, polls are down. It’s not fun to be down, but we’ll be up again,” he said. 

“The polling period was before the House of Assembly (sitting). I think we’ve had a successful session holding the government to account as the official opposition during this House of Assembly sitting. When there’s another poll, I imagine that’ll be reflected.”

Crosbie says he doesn’t have a specific number in mind in terms of support from his party, but he’ll step away if he feels there isn’t enough support for him. 

“I haven’t personally given any thought about what percentages if there's a vote on that, but I can tell you this: if I feel I don’t have the confidence of the party, or if in fact the party wants to have a leadership convention, then I’m not in this to cling to a job,” he said. 

“I’m in this to advance the best interest of the PC party of Newfoundland and Labrador and of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I’ll do that however I think is best calculated to achieve that. If that means me standing aside for somebody more capable of attracting the popularity of the public, then that’s what I’ll do.”

The last leadership review for the PC party was called in 2016 for then-leader Paul Davis. Davis resigned as leader before the review could be held to avoid in-fighting. 

Crosbie was named leader of the PC party in April 2018. 

Twitter: @DavidMaherNL


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