The lull is over..the second and final phase of the campaign to become the leader of the bankrupt Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador begins in earnest tomorrow.
Each of the candidates have a pretty good idea of how many supporters they gang pressed into signing up as Liberals, or Liberal Supporters, in the membership sign-up drive that ended on September 30th.
The campaigns were all assigned a super-secret silo to upload their supporters to the party. The contents of each silo were kept secret from the other campaigns.
The party has been diligently reviewing all signed up members for duplications, errors and mistakes in a thorough verification process that began on October 1st.
Tomorrow the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador is going to release the complete list of members to each campaign.
Neither camps supporters will be identified but each camp knows who they submitted. Depending on who you listen to, some 42,000 individual memberships were submitted.
A few thousand of which came directly to the party and were not associated with any one candidate. I am told there was much duplication – in some cases individuals were signed up by multiple camps! Keep in mind folks needed only to provide a birthdate, an address and an e-mail. No signed paper or e-signatures required.
Tomorrow we find out how many of those memberships have been ruled valid and the poaching, arm twisting and the double-dealing begins.
Some of my sources say the total number will be slightly higher than 40,000 eligible voters. I expect some thing in the range of 37 – 42 thousand people.
I’ll discuss the breakdown of those numbers a little more in a future post but the math according to those campaigns that have issues numbers favors Dwight Ball. His campaign claims they signed up 15,000 loyal supporters. Paul Antle’s Campaign boasts 10,900. Danny Dumaresque says he has 9,000 in the bag. The total from those camps alone is in the range of 35,000.
I am confident that Cathy Bennett has in excess of 10,000, perhaps as many as 13,000. Jim Bennett has at least 3,000 and as many as 5,000.
Than we have to consider the number of people who signed up all on their own. Let's say that number is 3,000.
That would mean that the total membership should be in the range of a liberal guestimate of 55,000. Someone is not being quite honest about their numbers and is playing a bluff.
Of course every camp believes that their supporters are solid. Defections will be few. Judging by the duplications more than one liberal as pledged allegiances to more than one candidate. Those are not votes that I would be very confident about.
The other tale to be told tomorrow is where all these new members reside. This process will be decided on points accumulated form each of the 48 provincial districts.
I am looking forward to determining how competitive this race will be, where it counts, at the district level.
The proof is in the eating as they say, I am looking forward to a bit of indigestion when the official numbers and lists are released tomorrow.
Voting will take place in November ]with the announcement of the new leader on November 17th.