And now for something completely different, we go from talking about the campaign to talking about the convention.
As of 1:30pm, the first ballot results are in and are posted as follows:
Results: 8,719 ballots cast
Cam Broten: 2942
Ryan Meili: 3384
Trent Wotherspoon: 2120
The 279 vote discrepancy is dependent on either Erin Weir votes since he still appeared on the first ballot; or by your various "spoiled" or other such errors that occur.
Erin was able to take to the stage as the first candidate to withdraw; and had one final chance to showcase his wit with a few clever lines; ranging from the missed opportunity to have the four candidates' fathers have a debate, and likening the race to the Hotel California " you can check out, but you can never leave."
Erin was followed by Trent, who also used a lot of humour as he announced his withdrawal from the second ballot. He mused that had another Wotherspoon been on the ballot, the result may have been different. (A reference to a very well received speech given by his wife Stephanie on Friday night.) Either way, Trent left the race with wit and with a lot of gravitas, pledging his support to the next leader.
As such, the race is now down to two: Ryan Meili and Cam Broten.
Ryan has a 442 vote lead going into the second ballot, though I would venture to say that the ace is still a dead heat. With Trent not encouraging his followers to vote a certain way, it is anyone's guess which way his 2120 supporters will go. As numerous others have said over the course of the race, it has come down to the outsider vs the establishment candidate. If Trent's supporters fall into the majority of the establishment, we could very well see a Cam Broten win at the end of the day.
However, if Trent's supporters weren't skewing towards an establishment candidate...Then it could very well go the other way, with Ryan Meili walking away as leader at the end. Essentially, there is a potential of victory for each candidate and there's no real way to determine which way Trent's delegates will go.
And that is where we stand. Much like at the start of the race, we continue to have a race that will come down to the wire and that has a very real possibility of victory for the remaining candidates.
With voting beginning at 2:30, and results expected by 3:30 or so, we will know soon enough who will be leading the Saskatchewan NDP into the next election.