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Any lingering doubts that Thomas Mulcair will be the next leader of the New Democratic Party evaporated with the much-delayed results of the third ballot at this convention.

Insufficient voters from Toronto MP Peggy Nash, who was eliminated in the previous round, rallied to the cause of party strategist Brian Topp. Far from seeing his lead slip, Mr. Mulcair grew his vote. There is no need to put qualifiers on this. Thomas Mulcair's victory is inevitable.

For that hypothesis to be proven wrong, more than two-thirds of B.C. MP Nathan Cullen's supporters would have to flock to Mr. Topp on a fourth and final ballot. Most analysts, including this correspondent, have long expected that Mr. Cullen's supporters would lean instead to Mr. Mulcair, since both are identified as voices for change within the party.

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And remember: Most of the ballots have already been cast in advance through a preferential ballot.

Mr. Topp cannot win, despite his protestations that he can't abide where Mr. Mulcair will take the party.

And everyone in this rooms knows it.

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