Skip to main content

What you must do if you are pondering the results of the first round voting at the NDP leadership convention is ask yourself not how people will vote, but how they have already voted.

A little more than half of the eligible NDP members cast ballots in the first round to choose the next leader. We know the great majority of those ballots were preferential – which means the candidates were ranked in preference – and were mailed in or sent in online in advance of this convention.

So the influence of those voting today – about 10,000 on the first ballot – is far from defining. What matters is the second-choice picks of those who already voted.

Story continues below advertisement

Martin Singh, we know, had urged his supporters to go with Montreal MP Thomas Muclair as their second choice, which should give Mr. Mulcair – whose numbers are worryingly low on this first round – a bit of a boost now that Mr. Singh is gone. Prominent figures in the camp of Ottawa MP Paul Dewar, such as Northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus, are also endorsing Mr. Mulcair now that Mr. Dewar has dropped off.

But party strategist Brian Topp did very well on this first ballot, as did B.C. MP Nathan Cullen. Many NDP supporters are worried that a Mulcair victory will shift the party to the centre. And Mr. Mulcair, who is a bit of a lone wolf, is also opposed by the party establishment. All of that vote could flow to Mr. Topp.

Toronto MP Peggy Nash has strong union support, but she will be gone sooner or later, and much of that vote will flow as well to Mr. Topp, who also has strong union ties.

So this is a horse race.

One final observation from this first ballot: The two top finishers are both from Quebec. The party has rejected those candidates whose lack of strong French could eviscerate the party's new-found popularity in Quebec.

The NDP, it appears, knows it is Official Opposition because of Quebeckers, and aims to keep it that way.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter