Nipissing MPP and Interim PC leader Vic Fedeli is congratulating Doug Ford on his win this morning
Ford tweeted, "To the people of Ontario....I say relief is on its way....And to Kathleen Wynne I say....Your days as Premier are numbered."
Party president Jag Badwal announced the results seven hours later than scheduled, saying the former Toronto city councillor had narrowly eked out a win over former provincial legislator Christine Elliott on the third ballot.
But Elliott, who had made her third bid to lead the party, released a statement early Sunday morning alleging there had been "serious irregularities" in the vote and vowing to investigate further.
Her comments came after the party said it had reviewed certain aspects of the vote and cleared all issues before announcing Ford's victory.
Ford made little mention of the review or the delays in his victory speech, focusing instead on the June election in which he will now face Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne.
"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.
"We're going to spend the coming weeks getting the party in fighting shape, because the people of this province are ready for change."
Ford said he hadn't spoken to Elliott, and vowed to hold a news conference "in the coming days" but gave no specifics.
Elliott said she had won the popular vote and the majority of ridings, and noted that very few electoral points separated her and Ford in the final count. She also said thousands of party members were assigned to incorrect ridings during the voting process.
"I will stand up for these members and plan to investigate the extent of this discrepancy," she said.
Toronto lawyer Caroline Mulroney placed third in the race, while social conservative advocate Tanya Granic Allen finished last.
With files from Canadian Press.