The NDP has spoken, and they want a new leader.
At the NDP convention in Edmonton this weekend — attended by more than 1,500 people — leader Tom Mulcair received only 48% of his party's support.
The results, a clear repudiation of Mulcair, mean the party is headed into a leadership race.
Before the convention, Mulcair and others had said he would need at least 70% of his party's support to justify staying on as leader — making the results shocking to many.
In a speech after the vote, Mulcair said he would stay on as leader until a new one is chosen.
"I couldn't be prouder of each and every one of you, and to count you as friends," Mulcair said. "Don't let this very divided vote divide us. Let's all work together now to choose the best person to take our project forward.”
Before the vote, Mulcair gave a speech in which he took responsibility for the NDP's devastating election loss in October and urged party delegates to rally around him.
"Stand if you want to fight to build a country that generations of New Democrats, young and old, have dreamed of and organized for, a Canada that is loving, hopeful, and optimistic, where everyone belongs, everyone matters and no one is left behind," Mulcair said to growing applause. "Together, we can do this."
The NDP went into the 2015 federal election with 103 seats in the House of Commons and leading in the polls. By the end, the party had been all but decimated, with many well-liked, veteran MPs losing their seats.
Mulcair's speech didn't touch on the "Leap Manifesto," a policy proposal developed by the party's most left-leaning members that was hotly discussed at the convention. The document calls for a ban on building new pipelines and some types of trade deals, among other things. The party voted to continue debating the policy ideas in the manifesto.
On Saturday, NDP Alberta Premier Rachel Notley appeared to take a few digs at the Leap Manifesto.
In January, Mulcair dodged questions about whether he would step down. “I’m going to continue that hard work taking nothing for granted,” he said.
Emma Loop is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. PGP fingerprint: 4A39 DD99 953C 6CAF D68C 85CD C380 AB23 859B 0611.
Contact Emma Loop at email@example.com.
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