NDP Leadership Race: Who's In, Who's Out... And Who's On The Fence

Thomas Mulcair

The Huffington Post Canada   First Posted: 09/21/11 10:01 PM ET Updated: 11/21/11 05:12 AM ET

UPDATE: Brian Topp has resigned as NDP party president and officially registered as a candidate, according to the NDP. A previous version of this story listed Topp as the current party president.

Despite only having two declared candidates, the NDP leadership race is heating up. A handful of MPs have dispatched supporters across the country to gauge support and get financial banking. Here's a look at who is in, who's out and who's contemplating a run.

BELOW: Vote, then see who is in, out or on the fence.

Quick Poll

Of these undeclared candidates, whom would you MOST like to see enter the NDP leadership race?

Peter Julian

Paul Dewar

Peggy Nash

Thomas Mulcair

Niki Ashton

Robert Chisholm

Nathan Cullen


Brian Topp: In
1  of  11

Age: 51

Executive Director of ACTRA Toronto
Former NDP party president

So far the front runner, Topp has already received endorsements from former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, former Saskatchewan NDP Premier Roy Romanow and Quebec Liberal turned NDP MP Françoise Boivin.

A bilingual Quebecer, Topp was the first to announce his bid. Despite having no electoral experience, Topp cites his work on in party's back rooms helping coordinate four national election campaigns, his senior advisor role as a deputy chief-of-staff to Romanow and his experience as a leader in the union movement. He stepped down from his role as NDP party president upon officially registering as a candidate.

Topp has begun a cross-Canada trip, speaking out against the Keystone Pipeline, the Conservatives decision to kill the Wheat Board and the need to strengthen public health care and the national public pension plan.


Megan Leslie
Age: 37
MP for Halifax since 2008

Leslie announced on her Facebook site Wednesday she would not run for the leadership.

“My decision not to present myself as a candidate for the leadership was entirely personal. It was a big decision that I took with my family, with my partner. I’m exciting to be a part of choosing the next leader. I’m excited by the campaigns that have already started, but I just decided that for me, it wasn’t something that I wanted for my own life,” she told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

The photogenic MP, however, didn’t rule out a future run at the leadership of the NDP.

“Life is big, life is very big. So who knows what the future holds, but I know it’s not right for me right now,” she said.

Leslie said she would “love” to see a woman candidate or a youth candidate but what was most important to her was that those values be embodied.

“I’m looking for a leader, a candidate who is a feminist, I’m looking for a candidate who is youthful. I think Jack Layton was both of those things and as we know, he wasn’t necessarily young or a woman,” she told reporters after Question Period.

Libby Davies
Age: 58
MP for Vancouver East since 1997

Despite having cross-Canada support, Davies told Postmedia that she won’t run to replace Jack Layton because she doesn’t speak French.

“I really feel that it’s very important that the leader of the party be someone who can represent a bilingual country,” she is quoted telling the news organization.