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NDP votes for leadership review; Mulcair likely out as leader

Last Updated Apr 11, 2016 at 6:47 am PDT

(Ian Campbell, NEWS 1130 Photo)

There will be a NDP leadership convention within a year

Fifty-two per cent of delegates at the convention in Edmonton today voted in favour of a review

EDMONTON (NEWS 1130) – Members of the NDP have voted 52 per cent in favour of a federal leadership review, meaning Thomas Mulcair doesn’t have the support to remain at the helm of the party.

Delegates at the party’s convention in Edmonton cast their ballots today as a festering dispute over the NDP’s future direction in the wake of last year’s devastating election loss finally came to a head.

Delegates were voting on whether to hold a leadership review; party president Rebecca Blaikie had already established 70 per cent support as an arbitrary non-threshold.

The vote comes less than six months after the party was badly outflanked by the Liberals in last October’s federal election and reduced to third-place status in the House of Commons.

The party began the campaign as the official Opposition and appeared poised to make a run at forming Canada’s first NDP government, only to collapse over the course of a historically long campaign and end up losing more than half its seats.

How will the party move forward from here?

NDP Burnaby – New Westminster MP Peter Julian was one of Mulcair’s supporters, so watching him fall as a result of this vote was tough.

“There were tears,” he admits. “But we are very proud of what is a fundamentally democratic party.”

“Many of us are very saddened by the results, but we all respect those results and we all respect the decisions of the delegates. We will move forward together.”

Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies says this does present an opportunity to advance the party.

“Having people chart the path forward and to hear new visions going forward I think is healthy for our party. It’s healthy for our democracy, although I really feel for Tom.”

“But at the same time, there are, I think, exciting possibilities for us ahead. We’re a strong party. We’re resilient. I’m looking forward to having a very vigorous leadership contest, like the Conservatives are having,” he adds.