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NDP Leader Tom Mulcair speaks to supporters at NDP federal election night headquarters in Montreal on Monday.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

New Democrats say they remain optimistic and resolute, even though their dreams of forming government were crushed in Monday's election.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair held a teleconference meeting Friday with his 43 newly elected and re-elected New Democrat MPs.

Insiders say he expressed regret that the party lost more than half its caucus in Monday's vote, which saw the third-party Liberals vault past the NDP and Conservatives to win government.

And Mulcair announced that he's asked national campaign director Anne McGrath to form a committee to conduct a thorough post-mortem of the campaign.

But the focus of the discussion was on the future, how the party intends to continuing pushing its priorities and holding Justin Trudeau's new government to account.

Insiders say there was general support for Mulcair's decision to remain as leader.

"I think there's a great appreciation for stability and (Mulcair's) courage," re-elected British Columbia MP Nathan Cullen said following the conference call.

The members of the NDP's dramatically reduced caucus are "very resolute and optimistic," he added.

"For sure there's a sense of loss, but beer doesn't taste good if you keep crying in it."

Mulcair announced that Peter Julian, re-elected in B.C., will continue was the party's House leader. He asked other MPs to signal their preferences as he prepares to put together a shadow cabinet.

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