Two rounds of voting have come and gone and now its a three-man race between Thomas Mulcair who is leading with 38.8 per cent of the vote, Brian Topp who has 25 per cent of the vote and local MP Nathan Cullen who has received 19.9 per cent. All the other contenders for the leadership have dropped out. In order to win, a candidate must receive 50 per cent.
Being in third place, Cullen doesn’t have much hope of snagging the leadership for himself, but if he does have the option to endorse either Mulcair — who represents a more Quebec-focused and more centrist future for the party, and Brain Topp the favourite of those who would like to see the party remain firmly and unambiguously on the political left.
Cullen has a large amount of supporters that he could throw behind either one of those two men and it would be enough to put them over the top, effectively making Cullen the Kingmaker if he decides to go that route. Political commentators have often described Cullen as being a party reformist like Mulcair rather than being party traditionalist like Topp.
The third round of voting is being delayed by technical difficulties but it could go for as many as four rounds before the winner is finally decided.
While Cullen’s idea of joint nomination meetings with the Liberal Party in Conservative held ridings has been rejected by all of the other candidates in this leadership race, a Harris Decima poll came out today where Canadians were asked if they would vote for a NDP/Liberal joint candidate and 37 per cent of respondents said they would, while 23 per cent said they would vote for the Conservative candidate in that senario.
With the reformist Mulcair poised to take the reigns of the NDP, whether Cullen’s idea will gain traction within the party even if he isn’t made leader seems like a possibility (remote as it may be), but only time will tell.