> **Nearly 260,000 members is largest for a leadership race in party’s history** The Conservative Party of Canada has set a record for memberships in a leadership race, surpassing its membership total in 2004 when the merger of two national parties and open nomination races in all ridings across Canada helped push membership at that time to just over 251,000 paid party members. As of membership voting cut-off on March 28, 2017, there were 259,010 paid Conservative Party members – an increase of over 150,000 members from the beginning of January. “These membership numbers show a healthy, strong Conservative Party, ready to challenge Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in 2019,” said Rona Ambrose, interim Leader of the Conservative Party. “Canadians fed up with a government nickel and diming them to death have found a home in our party, the only party that is the voice of the taxpayer. I’m proud of our team of candidates, our caucus, and our staff that have worked so hard over the past year to prepare the Conservative Party for its next leader,” Ambrose concluded. The largest growth provincially was in Quebec, increasing membership there by over 250%, with many ridings across Canada increasing membership by thousands. “This result is both a testament to just how motivated Canadians are for an alternative to Justin Trudeau, and proof of the hard-work of all our leadership candidates and their tireless efforts to cross this country several times over to deliver their message to Canadians. These aren’t memberships we gave away to inflate a number and chase headlines like other political parties, and this membership total shows why the Conservative Party will be a force in the next election,” said Conservative Party President, Scott Lamb. The 259,010 Conservative members as of March 28, 2017 are eligible to cast one vote each in the Leadership election process, either by mail or in person on May 27th. Ballots are mailing out this week. The Leadership Event will take place in Toronto May 26th and 27th. The rules for the Conservative Party’s leadership election can be found online, [here](http://www.conservative.ca/media/documents/LEOC_2016_EN.pdf).