A party divided: NDP split down the middle on Mulcair, future

Today in Edmonton, more than half of the delegates present at the Federal NDP convention voted in favour of a leadership change.

Embattled leader Thomas Mulcair wound up obtaining the support of only 48% of delegates, falling far short of the 70% support thought needed to keep his job. This is the first time in history the NDP have voted in favour of an immediate change in leadership.

The results of the Mulcair vote has only added to the murkiness surrounding the future of the party. The party was almost completely split down the middle in terms of opinion on Mulcair, and many contrasts on were heard throughout the convention as to what direction the party should be taking, in light of the disappointing results of the 2015 federal election campaign. Cleavages between the provincial Alberta NDP and the federal party concerning pipelines were widely reported on, and made for some interesting exchanges on the convention floor.

Yet despite the results of today, an interim leader may not be named. Mulcair has indicated that he desires to remain on as leader of the NDP until a new candidate is selected.

It is uncertain at this point how the divided party will react to Mulcair potentially staying on as leader. Given that the search for a new leader of the NDP may go on for as long as 24 months, the split NDP community may be less than enthusiastic to see Mulcair at the helm of their party for that long.



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