Canada: Who Will Win The 2017 NDP Leadership Race?

2017 NDP Leadership Race

Interested Canadian voters, and certainly New Democratic voters, want to know who will win the 2017 NDP leadership race.

The third-largest party in Canada’s parliament needs a new man or woman at its helm. This person will have the duty of leading the NDP into the next federal election, scheduled for 2019. That could be a difficult poll for the New Democrats, on just 44 seats now and with the Liberals riding high. One thing we know is that the last election helped current leader, Tom Mulcair, find the door.

Four candidates run to replace Mulcair, leader of the NDP since 2012. Who will it be?

2017 NDP Leadership Race: The Candidates

Charlie Angus MP: Federal MP for Timmins-James Bay, Ontario since 2004. Angus was a progressive activist before entering electoral politics. Since entering the House of Commons, Angus has held various critic roles within the NDP caucus. He is one of the longest-tenured current NDP MPs, in Parliament for 13 years.

Niki Ashton MP: Federal MP for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, Manitoba since 2008 (just Churchill prior to 2015). Ashton sought the NDP leadership in 2012, and she came in last place out of seven candidates. She is pregnant with twins, who are due after the leadership vote. Ashton was previously the NDP’s critic for Jobs, Employment and Workforce Development.

Guy Caron MP: Federal MP for Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques, Quebec since 2011. Caron won his seat in the Quebec “Orange Wave,” and was re-elected in 2015. He has been the shadow minister for Industry and for Natural Resources during his tenure. Caron’s previous career was in journalism.

Jagmeet Singh MPP: Member of Ontario provincial Legislative Assembly for Bramalea-Gore-Malton since 2011. Prior to entering the federal leadership race, Singh was deputy Ontario NDP leader under Andrea Horwath. Singh is a lawyer by trade, and the only current candidate outside of the House of Commons.

2017 NDP Leadership Race: Who Has The Edge?

The buzz in the New Democratic Party surrounds Jagmeet Singh. A perception exists that he is the frontrunner, which exists because of his list of endorsements. His former rival, Peter Julian, backed Singh on September 7.

Opinion polling tells a similar story, however the race is far from over. In a week-old poll from Mainstreet, Singh led Angus among party members by two points. Niki Ashton and Guy Caron trailed far behind the leaders. What should motivate all candidates is this survey showing a quarter of party members as undecided. That number slowly ticks down, and when the votes are cast, there will be no undecideds left.

If the trends continue, it’s down to Singh and Angus for the prize.

2017 NDP Leadership Race: Jagmeet Singh’s Momentum

The campaign team for Singh claims it roped in 47,000 new NDP members. Those are staggering numbers, far outpacing the other three candidates in the race. This is in a party that boasts about 124,000 members.

One of the fundamentals of electoral politics is that they have to turn out to vote for you. If he did recruit that many New Democrats as he says, he boasts a significant stack of votes already.

Angus in this 2017 NDP leadership race represents stability in the form of a seasoned parliamentary veteran. Singh is a young, fresh face from outside of Ottawa. Both have their pitches to make, as do Ashton and Caron. Soon enough, we will know if Singh’s momentum was real or if it was a media construct.

And when there are future Canadian elections, you can read about them on our Canadian election predictions and calendar page.

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