UPDATE: PCs finally name Doug Ford winner; Markham mayhem just ‘process’ say Miller, Clement

The CBCNN’s Rosemary Barton and Mike Crawley broke all the news about Doug Ford’s possible win in the Ontario PC leadership race Saturday.

Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

Ontario PCs finally declared Doug Ford the winner late last night and emerged Sunday a divided party as Christine Elliott vows to fight on and challenge a vote that is reportedly a few hundred votes apart.

But don’t worry, it’s only “process.”

That’s Tory MPP Norm Miller and MP Tony Clement dismissively characterizing the Ontario PC leadership race last Monday when their preferred candidate Caroline Mulroney was in Bracebridge.

It happens all the time, in all elections.

Trust us, vote for us.

We can run this province.

Some may question that after Saturday’s debacle.

The optics of the Markham mayhem, which could linger overnight or into Sunday or beyond before a leader is declared, aren’t

“It’s not a good night for the PC Party of Ontario,” said former PC MPP Frank Klees, a Doug Ford supporter, who called for the party leadership to step down.

The party didn’t release results before clearing the hall and sending hundreds of people home disappointed at 7:30 p.m.

“Boos” greeted party leadership after a marathon afternoon in which they said nothing about what was going on behind closed doors.

Rumours and speculation were rampant.

The CBC seemed to be the only source of news – official or otherwise.

They reported late in the afternoon that Ford had won by razor’s edge, and that Elliott had challenged the result of “a certain list of electors” and called for a recount.

The result could be within a few hundred votes or less than half a per cent of the 65,000-odd votes cost electronically.

Reporter Mike Crawley said his multiple “reliable sources” had confirmed the information that he was announcing publicly on air on the fly — with emails and insider tips knocking his earpiece off.

The story appears to be some 1,300 disputed electronic ballots, in which the addresses of the voters are in dispute.

Someone tweeted CBC host Rosemary Barton that one couple with the same address voted in two separate ridings. Something to do with post codes.

The party did confirm that all electronic ballots were printed off as pdfs and then scanned through recounting machines.

And apparently one counting machine broke down.

A problem, particularly when there was a ranked ballot for the four candidates, including also Caroline Mulroney and Tanya Granic Allen.

Crawley said his sources, again, confirm his findings and that Ford will still prevail once the dispute is “resolved in the short term,” as the party announced it hopes it will

Commentators were left tongues wagging: “It’s hard to imagine how this day can come off worse.”

“An unbelieveable” “non-ending.”

All of this comes after former leader Patrick Brown stepped down over sex assault allegations he denies.

And Friday night a judge denied a stay in voting today.