National Union Party (Rainier) leadership election, 2017
The election was won by Richard Baron who got a majority of members and local representative votes, albeit not winning a majority of the parliamentary party. Following the election contender Daniel Lee announced he and several other centrist MP's would split from the NUP to create a new party, the Progressive Conservative Association.
Background[edit | edit source]
In the run-up to the 2017 House of Councillors election due to low polling there was speculation that NUP leader and Prime Minister Andrew Clarkson would face a leadership challenge. This speculation was fuelled following the resignation of cabinet member Daniel Lee in 2014 following proposals by the government to restrict civil liberties and after several back benchers such as Heidi Crapo and Richard Baron called for the government to go in a more right-wing direction. No challenge was launched however, a feat widely attribute due to the expectation that the NUP would lose the next election.
In early 2017 however the rise of the right-wing Reform Party led to talks of the possibility of the formation of a NUP-Reform coalition forming the next government. This led to talk of a leadership bid by right-wing MP Richard Baron against Clarkson as Baron led opinion polls as the most favoured NUP candidate by its members. Baron however stated he was "100% behind the Prime Minister".
The 2017 election was a devastating defeat for the party which got under 25% of the vote for the first time in its history going from 59 to 35 seats. This resulted in Clarkson to resign from the NUP leadership and be replaced by deputy leader Mary Towers in an interim capacity until a new leader could be elected.
Electoral process[edit | edit source]
The leader of the National Union Party is elected by an electoral college of 1,350 members, with the system having been introduced in 1996 by Gerald Fairbrook. The electoral votes are allocated as such -
- 540 (40%) of votes to the NUP parliamentary party (MP's and Senators).
- 405 (30%) of votes to NUP local representatives (provincial assembly MP's, including official affiliate parties and municipal councillors)
- 405 (305) of votes to ordinary NUP members.
As of 2017 the NUP has 35 MP's and 23 Senators (giving it 38 members of the parliamentary party) 78,000 members, 294 local councillors and 216 provincial assembly members, plus 79 provincial assembly members of official affiliate parties (Saskatchewan Party and the United Conservative Party).
Candidates[edit | edit source]
|Name||Home province||Most recent position(s)||Announced candidacy||Notes|
|Alberta||Under-Secretary for Business Regulation (2015-2017)||28 August||Considered to be the preferred candidate of the right wing of the NUP, endorsing national conservative positions.|
|Oregon||Minister for Industry and Commerce (2012-2014)||3 September||Considered to be the main "red tory" of the race, endorsing one-nation conservative principles.|
|Idaho||Minister for Justice and Penal Reform (2009-2017)||4 September||Widely seen as the candidate of the party establishment supporting economic liberalism and the Christian right.|
|Cascadia||Minister for Industry and Commerce (2014-2017)||6 September||Considered to be on the New Right-libertarian candidate.|
When the contest was announced interim leader Mary Towers announced she would contest the leadership, having strong support amongst MP's. However following large losses for the NUP during the Rainian House of Senators election, 2017 Towers withdrew her candidacy endorsing John Griffin for party leader.
Results[edit | edit source]
|Candidate||Parliamentary Party||Members||Local public representatives||Electoral College|