Green Party delays leadership vote

Green Party members overwhelmingly approve a motion delaying a leadership review until after the next federal election.

Green Party members have overwhelmingly approved delaying a leadership review until after the next federal election, the party announced from Ottawa on Wednesday.

The national party will not hold a leadership vote at its convention in Toronto later this month. The constitution had required a leadership race to be held every four years.

Elizabeth May's term as Green Party leader was to end Aug. 31, but party members have voted to wait until after the next federal election to hold a leadership review. ((Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press))
Leader Elizabeth May's term would have ended Aug. 31, but 74 per cent of Greens voted for a motion to hold a leadership review after the next election instead, the party said.

Any motion that gets more than 60 per cent support before the convention is considered passed.

Eighty-five per cent of Greens also voted to support May's leadership. She became leader in 2006.

At least one challenger — retired army Lt.-Col. Sylvie Lemieux — has announced a challenge to May's leadership.

The party had its strongest showing in a federal election with May at the helm. The Greens got more than 941,000 votes, or 6.8 per cent of the popular vote, in the 2008 election. That was up from about 666,000 ballots, or 4.5 per cent of the popular vote, in the 2006 election.

May is trying to become the first Green MP, running in a Vancouver Island riding held by junior Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn.

During the last election she failed to unseat Tory Defence Minister Peter MacKay in his Nova Scotia riding. In 2006, she was a runner-up to Liberal MP Glen Pearson in a southern Ontario byelection.

May told The Canadian Press her party's decision is the right one with the whiff of a fall election in the air

"There's a significant risk of a fall election," May said.

"It certainly would have been, to put it mildly, a complication if we'd had a fall election while we were in the middle of a leadership race.

"So, on balance, this is a very sensible decision. I mean, I wasn't very worried one way or another, but it's good to have some decisions."