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Olive Crane has been an MLA just 17 months. ((CBC))

Olive Crane was selected as interim leader of P.E.I.'s Progressive Conservative party Tuesday.

About 40 people were eligible to vote in the election: all the candidates from the May election and the 15 members of the party executive.

Crane told CBC News Wednesday that getting the party back in order followingits crushingelection defeatin May is a priority.

"You have to take a look at the provincial executive. You take a look at the party itself and we'll have an upcoming annual meeting," said Crane.

The election was made necessary when former leader Pat Binns resigned to accept the post as Canada's ambassador to Ireland last week. Binns was excluded from Tuesday's voting.

Tories to face byelection

Binns was one of just four MLAs for the Tories, and his departure from Belfast-Murray River creates another priority for Crane.

"We're also going to be going into a byelection which I think is really important for us," said Crane.

"So a lot of attention has to work with the districts, and especially the district of Belfast-Murray River."

The race was between Crane and her fellow MLA Jim Bagnall.Mike Currie, the only other elected Tory MLA, pulled his name from the race on Tuesday morning.

Crane, who represents the district of Morell-Fortune Bay, became an MLA in a byelection just 17 months ago. At the time, the Tories looked to be in a strong position with 23 of 27 seats in the legislature.

Butthe provincial election in May reduced the party to a rump of four seats, which became three with the Binns resignation.

The Tory party expects to hold a leadership convention in about two years. The next provincial election will be in May 2011.