Following the death of Jack Layton in 2011, there was no clear heir apparent for the job of NDP leader before Tom Mulcair eventually claimed the throne.
Now, with 52 per cent of the party voting against Mulcair for a leadership review, the NDP appears to be headed back into no man’s land, searching for a leader who will unite the party and attempt to take it to new heights.
When the 2012 leadership race kicked off, there were nine candidates in the running and with no clear-cut replacement available this time around, the list could be lengthy once again.
While there could still be a few surprise candidates to come forth, here is a list of people who may potentially throw their names in the ring to replace Mulcair.
Niki Ashton – MP for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski: The 33-year-old tried her luck in 2012 and was out after Round 1. She has since had an opportunity to raise her profile in as the NDP critic for Jobs, Employment and Workforce Development.
Robert Chisholm – Former MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour: Chisholm pulled his name from the last race, citing a lack of French fluency. He lost his seat in 2015, creating an issue as the party would need a seat vacated, and a by-election, for him to sit as a member of the House of Commons.
Nathan Cullen – MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley: Cullen was a third-place finisher in 2012. He has been in high-profile positions ever since, currently serving as the NDP critic for Environment and Climate Change.
Paul Dewer – Former MP for Ottawa Centre: Dewar finished a surprising fifth last time out, as polls indicated he was a top-three candidate. The former Critic for Foreign Affairs lost his seat in October putting him in the same position as Chisholm.
Peggy Nash – Former MP for Parkdale-High Park: She finished fourth in 2012 after serving as party president from 2009-2011.The former Critic for Foreign Affairs lost her seat in September creating the same issue as Dewar and Chisholm.
Romeo Saganash – MP for Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou: Saganash withdrew in 2012 because of an illness in his family and because he lacked confidence in his campaign. The respected Cree MP may be ready for another run at the party`s top post.
Brian Topp – former President of the New Democratic Party: Topp was Jack Layton`s top advisor in the 2011 federal election and currently serves as Rachel Notley’s chief of staff in Alberta. Topp has yet to run for federal office.
Daniel Blaikie – MP for Elmwood-Transcona: The son of longtime MP Bill Blaikie may still be a little green to run for the leadership office after narrowly winning for the first time in September. His sister, Rebecca, is the current president of the NDP party and could be a candidate herself.
Peter Julian – MP for New Westminster-Burnaby: The NDP current House Leader has held his seat for 11 years. He is being touted as a top candidate for the office in some corners.
Megan Leslie – former MP for Halifax: One of the many high-profile NDP candidates to get knocked off in September, Leslie served as both health and environment critic before her loss.
Rebecca Blaikie – Outgoing president of the New Democratic Party: Blaike may try to follow suit with her predecessor in taking a step up. She has the bloodlines to boot.
Olivia Chow – Former MP for Trinity-Spadina: Chow resigned her seat to run for mayor of Toronto in 2014 when she finished third to John Tory and Doug Ford. After not running in 2012, it seems unlikely she would make a move now.
Gary Doer – former US ambassador, former premier of Manitoba: The longtime premier of Manitoba just finished a stint as Canadian ambassador to the United States. Having retired from office in 2009, it would be a surprise if he ventured back into politics.
Michael Layton – Toronto City Councillor: It remains unclear whether he is looking to follow his father, Jack, and grandfather, Robert, into federal politics. He has served as a Toronto city councillor since 2010.
Avi Lewis – documentarian, TV personality, co-author of Leap Manifesto: Lewis has never seemed interested in running for politics but he was a co-author of the Leap Manifesto and has the bloodlines. His grandfather David was the former head of the federal NDP and his father Stephen headed the Ontario NDP for a stint.
Rachel Notley – Alberta premier: The country’s most high profile NDPer at the moment seems a longshot to leave her current post to run.
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