The Liberal Party will learn on Sunday in Ottawa who will lead them into the future. The big reveal will signal an end to a long road traveled by the beleaguered party over the past two years.
May 3, 2011: After the Liberal party suffers a historic electoral defeat, regulated to third-party status for the first time ever, Michael Ignatieff steps down as leader.
May 25, 2011: The Liberal caucus elects Bob Rae to serve as interim leader, a decision that is confirmed by the National Board. Rae had to promise he would not seek the permanent leadership
Liberal MP Bob Rae waves as is greeted by party staff and MPs following his final caucus meeting as leader on Parliament Hill Wednesday March 27, 2013 in Ottawa (The Canadian Press).
June 18, 2011: The National Board of Directors meets and adopts a constitutional amendment that would allow a leadership election date to be held between March 1 and June 30, 2013. Without the amendment, a leadership election would have been held within five months of Ignatieff’s resignation, which would have been the third leadership election in eight years.
January 14, 2012: The Liberal biennial convention sets the stage for a very different type of leadership race, introducing a new “supporter” category. Supporters can sign up to vote for the new leader without actually becoming party members, provided they aren’t members of another party and that they support the Liberals.
June 13, 2012: The leadership date is set for April 2013. Shortly after, the date of April 14, 2013 is specified.
June 27, 2012: Deborah Coyne becomes the first candidate to launch her campaign.
September 6, 2012: The party establishes a spending limit of $950,000 and an entry fee of $75,000.
October 2, 2012: After months of speculation and an earlier pronouncement that he wanted to focus on being a father, Justin Trudeau launches his campaign.
November 14, 2012: The leadership campaign officially begins.
November 2013 to January 2013: Seven other candidates throw their hats into the ring including David Bertschi, Martha Hall Findlay, Karen McCrimmon, Joyce Murray, Marc Garneau, George Takach and Martin Cauchon.
January 20, 2013: The first of five candidate debates takes place in Vancouver, B.C.
February 25, 2013: George Takach withdraws from the race.
March 3, 2013: The last day to become a member or supporter of the Liberal Party to be eligible to vote.
March 13, 2013: Garneau, considered one of the frontrunners, pulls out of the race, arguing he doesn’t have the numbers to win. He throws his support behind Trudeau.
Marc Garneau waves goodbye as he drops out of the Liberal leadership on March 13, 2013 (The Canadian Press).
March 21, 2013: The last day for members and supporters to register to vote – a deadline extended one week. David Bertschi withdraws from the race.
April 6, 2013: The remaining six Liberal candidates make their final pitches to potential voters before the polls open.
April 7 to 14, 2013: Approximately 127,000 registered voters have a chance to cast their ballots electronically. Voting is conducted using a preferential ballot system, weighted by electoral district. Each district gets 100 points, which are allocated to the candidates based on proportion of votes they receive. The victor needs 15,401 points to win. If no one receives that number on the first count, the contestant with the least votes is dropped from the ballot. The second preferences on that candidate’s ballots are distributed to the remaining contestants. The procedure continues until there is a winner.
April 14, 2013: The winner of the 2013 leadership contest to be revealed at 5:30 in Ottawa, Ont.