Political parties hold leadership contests to elect their party leader. When a person is actively seeking election as a party leader, they must register with Elections Ontario as a leadership contestant.
A party that wants to hold a leadership contest must notify Elections Ontario. The party also needs to tell us the start date of the contest and the fixed date of the contest vote; however, political parties run their own leadership contests according to their own rules.
Internal party contest rules and contest fees are not regulated by Elections Ontario.
When the post of leader of a registered party has become vacant, a person who is seeking election as leader of the registered party is required to register even if the party has not officially called the contest.
A person is deemed to be seeking election as leader of a registered party as soon as the person incurs expenses for goods or services in relation to a leadership contest or accepts contributions in relation to a leadership contest.
Registration allows a leadership contestant to receive contributions and finance political activities during the contest period.
Before you can apply to be registered as a leadership contestant with Elections Ontario, you must appoint a chief financial officer (CFO).
There is no fee to register with Elections Ontario as a leadership contestant.
When you fill out forms please be sure that:
- all information is accurate and complete (inaccurate information will cause delays and may be a contravene of the Election Finances Act)
- information is typed or printed clearly on the form
For a full list of rules, a CFO’s roles and responsibilities, and complete details please see the CFO Handbook for Leadership Contestants.
Registration of leadership contestants starts on the first day of the leadership contest. This day is determined by the party and filed with Elections Ontario.
Once the contest has started, you can register as a leadership contestant using the following steps:
- Complete and sign Form LC-1: Leadership Contestant Registration and Change Notice.
- Obtain endorsement from your party on the Form LC-1.
- Send us your completed form with endorsement.
For complete information on registering as a leadership contestant, please see the CFO Handbook for Leadership Contestants.
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