Manning gets approval for United Alternative

Preston Manning has the approval for his United Alternative. Now the question is whether the United Alternative approves of him.

The result of a vote by Reform Party members was read out in the lobby of the House of Commons on Thursday night. And 60.5 per cent voted to seek a partnership with the federal Tories, hoping to defeat the Liberals in the riding-rich provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

The majority was carried in eight out of the 10 provinces.

Approving the UA needed a majority of votes, plus a majority in six out of 10 provinces.

The 'yes' vote signals the start of Manning's plan to convince the Progressive Conservatives to work with Reform to run one strong right-wing candidate in ridings where the vote is split.

But Tory leader Joe Clark has said repeatedly he wants no part of the idea.

After announcing the results, Manning said that they showed Reform was making "a genuine offer and an invitation," to the Tories.

It is unlikely that a new party will be formed before the next federal election. Insiders say the most likely scenario is for Conservative and Reform groups to work together at the riding level during the next election. After the election, a new party would be created.

As for Manning's leadership, it will likely be left up to the delegates at Reform's annual convention next spring.

The Reform leader has said he wants to lead the new party, but some party members are calling for a leadership race.

Members were asked to vote on the question "Do you want the Reform Party of Canada to continue with the United Alternative process?"