However, when it comes to defeating Kathleen Wynne, Conservatives feel Elliott is the better candidate for the job with 43.4 per cent saying Elliott, compared to 35.5 per cent who believe Ford could do it.
For the first time ever, the Ontario PC Party used an electronic ballot to elect their new leader, a process that involved receiving a verification code in the mail, uploading identification and then getting an email ballot.
While it is unfortunate that the party would lose the cost of a convention and hotel rooms, "the process has not respected the right of each member to have one vote", Santoro said.
Ford and the other candidates - former Progressive Conservative legislator Christine Elliott, Toronto lawyer and businesswoman Caroline Mulroney and parental rights activist Tanya Granic Allen - have all raised the alarm in recent days over the voting process.
Ford's win came after a tumultuous leadership event on Saturday.
The results "provide a clear mandate to Doug Ford as outlined in our Party Constitution and the Leadership Election Rules", Hartley Lefton said. It noted that there had been an issue with the allocation of certain electoral votes but the matter was reviewed and resolved.
Doug Ford spoke to supporters during a rally at the Water Tower Inn during the PC leadership campaign.
"Former PC MPP Frank Klees was visibly agitated as the convention wrapped up, and suggested it would be "abominable" if Elliott is refusing to accept the results, though Elliott hadn't said that".
"When conservatives are divided, tax-raisers and leftist parties always win", Kenney said, poking fun at Justin Trudeau by saying he would refer to Ontario as the "gender-neutral older sibling" of Confederation rather than its older brother.
Mere months before the election, the province's official Opposition sacrificed its leader in a scandal over sexual misconduct allegations; surrendered its official campaign platform in a policy panic; revealed the "rot" and internal wrongdoing in its nominations and machinations; and, finally, bungled the vote count virtually from start to finish, and ultimately in the aftermath.
As of 8 a.m. Friday, he said, 71,402 party members had been verified and the party confirmed that 64,053 members had voted when balloting closed at noon Friday.
"There are a lot of people who are hot and they're angry and they've been around for several hours waiting for the result", Smith said.
Deb Matthews, the Liberal MPP for London North, and former cabinet minister, said the Liberals "take no joy" in the Tories voting problems. "That just was very disrespectful".
Saturday night's events were the latest in a insane leadership race begun in February by the sudden resignation of Patrick Brown, following a CTV News investigation which reported women accusing Brown of sexual misconduct. In the years before and after his time at city hall, he oversaw operations and spearheaded expansions at the family's label-making business.
Doug Ford is a former city councillor and was his brother's most aggressive defender.
"The people of Ontario want the Ontario Liberals gone and they deserve nothing less", Ford, who was flanked by Granic Allen, told the sparse but enthusiastic crowd in Markham, Ont., that remained to hear the results.