Defeated Conservatives call for party unity
The two defeated candidates for the Conservative Party leadership vowed Saturday to work for party unity and topple the governing Liberals.
Belinda Stronach and Tony Clement were easily outdistanced by Stephen Harper in the first round of ballot counting at Saturday's convention.
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But both echoed Harper's attack on the Liberals.
Stronach, who finished second, promised to help build a Conservative Party that "does reflect the views of mainstream Canadians."
She promised to work with Harper, but added that she will do her best to keep the party from moving too far to the right.
The former head of the Magna International car parts empire said the defeat made no difference to her plans to run for Parliament.
"I made a commitment on Jan. 20 to enter public life and I'm going to follow through," she said.
She said she'll now campaign full time for the seat in Newmarket-Aurora, north of Toronto.
Third-place finisher Clement was the first to concede the race and he made party unity a top priority.
"Stephen, you have our support, you have our hopes and aspirations, you have our good will," he said.
Through the campaign, Clement tried to capitalize on his experience as a former Ontario health minister.
But polling during the campaign showed he was never a real threat for the top job in the party.