CLARK STILL LEADER Alternate History
John Crosbie was always known as a loose cannon, but nobody could have predicted that he would drop off the ballot after the first round. Years later, even Joe Clark would say that he had no idea what happened. Crosbie would insist that "I can do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it, with whomever I want to do it with" but his move would have a huge impact regardless.
Despite winning 21.39% of the vote on the first ballot, John Crosbie dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Clark. Clark would go on to win a majority of ballots on the second ballot. Mulroney would privately wonder years later if Clark had not somehow bribed Crosbie, but there was never any evidence of this.
More to come...
Notes to self
Clark splits Quebec, NDP wins a shocker or two in 84 in Quebec. In 88 the NDP does much better in Quebec, but Clark manages a majority. Meech and Charlottetown, but with the NDP being much more pro-Quebec, and some NDPers going Liberal outside Quebec. 1993 with the NDP as the Bloc, branchpoint.