2013 Liberal Party of Canada leadership election

An election for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada was triggered by Michael Ignatieff's announcement on May 3, 2011, of his intention to resign as leader following the party's defeat in the 2011 federal election. On May 25, 2011, Bob Rae was appointed by Liberal caucus as interim leader. The party announced Justin Trudeau as its new leader on April 14, 2013, in Ottawa, Ontario.[1][2]

Michael Ignatieff declared on May 3, 2011, that he intended to resign as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, but his statement was worded so as not to be an actual resignation to avoid immediately triggering a leadership vote under party rules; he tendered a letter of resignation to the party's National Board of Directors on May 11.[3][4] Under the provisions of the party's constitution, the Board was required to set a date for a leadership vote to be held within five months thereafter.[5] However several MPs expressed their reluctance to hold a third leadership election in eight years and instead wanted to take the four years of electoral stability provided by a majority parliament as an opportunity to rebuild under an interim leader for as much as two years before selecting a permanent leader.

The Board met as required on May 19 and set the election for October 28 and 29, 2011, but adopted a proposed constitutional amendment allowing this leadership election to be held between March 1 and June 30, 2013, with the exact date to be announced no sooner than five months in advance.[6] The next convention of the party adopted the amendment on June 18, 2011.[7] On June 13, 2012, the Board decided to call the leadership vote for April 2013 with a specific date to be confirmed during the summer.[8] The Board subsequently established April 14, 2013, as the date the leadership election winner is to be announced and November 14, 2012, as the official start of the race. It also set a spending limit of $950,000 and a debt limit of $75,000, both considerably lower figures than allowed in 2006.[1]

In the case of a vacancy in the leadership, the Board is required to meet to appoint an interim leader "in consultation" with the parliamentary caucus, i.e., its 34 MPs and 46 senators.[5] Before this meeting, the Board determined it would not consider anyone unless that person has the support of a majority of MPs and of the caucus as a whole, was bilingual, and promised in writing not to seek the permanent leadership and not to discuss or negotiate significant changes to the party, which would include a merger with the New Democratic Party (NDP). This was taken as intended to exclude Bob Rae a potential leadership candidate who had significant support among Liberal senators and had talked about a merger shortly after the general election loss, as well as Deputy Leader Ralph Goodale, who is not bilingual, and any other MP who may intend to run in the leadership campaign.[9][10] Nonetheless, after the caucus discussed the interim leadership on May 11, 2011, it met again on May 25 and voted to recommend Rae as interim leader over Marc Garneau; the Board subsequently confirmed the appointment.[11][12][13]

In June 2012, the Board was expected to release Rae from his promise and allow him to run for the party leadership provided he stepped down as interim leader when Parliament rose for the summer.[14] However, Rae announced on June 13, 2012, that he would not be running for the permanent leadership and remained interim leader until Trudeau was announced as the new leader April 14, 2013.[15]

130,774 Liberal Party members and supporters registered to vote in the election[16] of almost 300,000 who were eligible.[17] General voting took place from April 7 to April 14, 2013, by preferential ballot online and by phone. Each electoral district was allocated 100 points with points in a district allocated in proportion to each candidate by the number of first preference votes received. All points were then aggregated nationally for a "national count". If no candidate received 15,401 points on the first count, then the candidate with the fewest points would be eliminated and his/her votes are distributed in each electoral district among the remaining leadership contestants according to the next preference indicated. This process would then continue until one candidate has more than 15,401 points.[18] Trudeau was selected on the first ballot.

Martin Cauchon, 49, was the former member of Parliament for the riding of Outremont in Montreal, Quebec. He served as an MP from 1993 to 2004 and served in the cabinet of Jean Chrétien, his most prominent post was as Minister of Justice. Cauchon was the Liberal candidate in Outremont in the 2011 federal election but was defeated by the New Democrat Thomas Mulcair.

Deborah Coyne, 58, was a Toronto lawyer, professor and author who ran for the Liberals in the riding of Toronto—Danforth in the 2006 federal election. She worked in the Prime Minister's Office in the 1980s and between 1989 and 1991 she was constitutional adviser to Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells.

Hall Findlay, 53, was the former MP for Willowdale, Ontario (2008–2011). She was the opposition critic for transport, infrastructure and communities (2008–2009), public works (2009–2010) and international trade (2010–2011). She ran in the 2006 leadership election, where she placed last.
Date campaign launched: November 14, 2012[37]

McCrimmon is a retired Canadian Forces Lieutenant colonel who was the first woman to command a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron (429 Transport Squadron). She was the Liberal candidate in Carleton—Mississippi Mills during the 2011 election. McCrimmon served in the Gulf War, with NATO forces during the Yugoslav Wars, and the War in Afghanistan, and in 1995 was admitted to the Order of Military Merit in the rank of Officer.[44]

Murray, 58, had been the Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra, British Columbia since 2008 and served as Opposition Critic for Small Business and Tourism, Asia — Pacific Gateway and Western Economic Diversification (2011–present). BC Liberal MLA for New Westminster (2001-2005). BC Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection (2001-2004). BC Minister of Management Services (2004-2005)[45]

Trudeau, at the age of 41, had been Parliamentarian for Papineau, since 2008, Liberal Post Secondary Education, Youth and Amateur Sport Critic (2011–2015) and son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Trudeau had ruled out a bid but reconsidered in the wake of Bob Rae's announcement that he was not running.[64][65]

Yvonne Jones Newfoundland and Labrador MHA for Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair;[97]

Candidates who filed nomination papers and paid the required installments of their registration fee,[29] but withdrew from the ballot.

Bertschi is an Ottawa lawyer and was the federal Liberal candidate in Ottawa—Orléans during the 2011 election. In 2012, he established an exploratory committee to assess his leadership prospects, and announced his candidacy on November 7,[108][109] before ending his campaign on March 21, 2013 without endorsing another candidate.[110]

Bertschi subsequently ran for the Liberal nomination in Orléans ahead of the 2015 election, though was disqualified, with the party citing Bertschi's failure to repay debts from his leadership campaign.[111] Bertschi subsequently ran for the Conservatives in Orléans in the 2019 general election, but lost in a landslide.[112]

MP for Westmount—Ville-Marie, Quebec (2008–present)
Liberal House Leader (2011–2012)
Retired astronaut
Retired Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy
Former President of the Canadian Space Agency (2001-2005)
Garneau stood for the position of interim leadership but was passed over in favour of Bob Rae.[37]
Garneau withdrew on March 13, 2013 and endorsed Justin Trudeau after concluding that the latter's lead was insurmountable.[115] Garneau had previously suggested that Trudeau lacked substance and was "untested".[116]

Toronto based technology lawyer at the McCarthy Tetrault law firm. Takach declared his candidacy in November 2012, but withdrew from the race on February 25, 2013 and endorsed Justin Trudeau.[122]

Takach was born in Toronto of Hungarian descent. He went to the University of Toronto for his BA and JD (law degree) and received his MA in International Relations from the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs Carleton University.

During the campaign he supported improvements to the country's high-tech infrastructure. He also supported the legalization of marijuana and was opposed to a merger with the NDP.[123][124][125]

Justin Trudeau won the 2013 Liberal leadership in a landslide first-ballot victory and led the third-place party into a majority government in the 2015 federal election. The voter turnout was 82.16% of all registered voters.[155][156]

Justin Trudeau won the most points in all but 5 of the 308 ridings, with the remaining 5 (British Columbia Southern Interior, Vancouver East, Vancouver Island North, Vancouver Kingsway, and Vancouver Quadra) all being won by Joyce Murray.[155]