Scoring a solid victory in the first round of voting for a new NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh wins NDP leadership to lead the New Democrats into the next federal election.
Jagmeet Singh, the former deputy leader of the Ontario NDP, surprised no one by landing on top of the first ballot when the results were revealed Sunday, but his first-round victory was unexpected. He won with 53.6 per cent support – more than 35,000 of the 65,782 party members who voted.
Charlie Angus, a veteran MP from Northern Ontario was in second, ahead of Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and Quebec MP Guy Caron. As with other leadership races, voter turnout was low. Only 52.8 per cent of eligible party members marked a ballot.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also congratulated Jagmeet Singh on Twitter.
Congratulations @theJagmeetSingh – I look forward to speaking soon and working together for Canadians.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 1, 2017
He is a turbaned Sikh, a fact that some pundits suggest will make it more difficult to win support in secular Quebec. The NDP parlayed its newfound support in that province into the so-called Orange Wave of 2011, which saw then-leader Jack Layton become the party’s first ever Leader of the Official Opposition.
But, at 38, Mr. Singh is seen as someone who can reinvigorate the party and potentially siphon some centre-left voters from the Liberals when the country next goes to the polls in 2019. His popularity with minorities in the suburban ridings around Toronto and Vancouver could help the NDP in regions where the party has struggled to win seats.
Mr. Layton died shortly after the 2011 election and New Democrats elected Quebec MP Tom Mulcair to succeed him. Last year, after significant losses in the 2015 federal campaign, they voted to replace Mr. Mulcair and set up the very long race for a new leader.
Jagmeet Singh is the first visible-minority leader of a major national party.