New Democratic Party

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New Democratic Party
Nouveau Parti démocratique
AbbreviationNDP (English)
NPD (French)
LeaderJagmeet Singh
PresidentMary Shortall
National directorLucy Watson[1]
Deputy leaderAlexandre Boulerice
House leaderPeter Julian
FoundedAugust 3, 1961 (62 years ago) (1961-08-03)[2]
Preceded by
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario
Youth wingCanada's Young New Democrats
Membership (2017)Increase 124,620[3][needs update]
Political position
International affiliationProgressive Alliance[4]
Union affiliateCanadian Labour Congress
Colours  Orange
0 / 105
House of Commons
24 / 338
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The New Democratic Party (NDP; French: Nouveau Parti démocratique, NPD) is a federal political party in Canada. Widely described as social democratic,[5] the party occupies the centre-left[6][7][8][9] of the political spectrum, with the party generally sitting to the left of the Liberal Party.[10][11][12][13] The party was founded in 1961 by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).[14]

The federal and provincial (or territorial) level NDPs are more integrated than other political parties in Canada, and have shared membership (except for the New Democratic Party of Quebec).[15] The NDP has never won the largest share of seats at the federal level and thus has never formed government. From 2011 to 2015, it formed the Official Opposition; apart from this, it has been the third or fourth-largest party in the House of Commons. However, the party has held the balance of power, and with it considerable influence, during periods of Liberal minority governments. Sub-national branches of the NDP have formed the government in six provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia) and the territory of Yukon.

The NDP supports a mixed economy, broader welfare, LGBT rights, international peace, environmental stewardship, and expanding Canada's universal healthcare system to include dental care, mental health care, eye and hearing care, infertility procedures, and prescription drugs.

Since 2017, the NDP has been led by Jagmeet Singh, who is the first visible minority to lead a major federal party in Canada on a permanent basis. Following the 2021 Canadian federal election, it is the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons, with 24 seats.


20th century[edit]

Tommy Douglas, leader of the NDP from 1961 to 1971

Origins and early history[edit]

In 1956, after the birth of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) by a merger of two previous labour congresses, negotiations began between the CLC and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) to bring about an alliance between organized labour and the political left in Canada. In 1958 a joint CCF-CLC committee, the National Committee for the New Party (NCNP), was formed to create a new social democratic political party, with ten members from each group. The NCNP spent the next three years laying down the foundations of the New Party, the party's interim name pending a national convention. During this process, a large number of New Party Clubs were established to allow like-minded Canadians to join in its founding, and six representatives from New Party Clubs were added to the National Committee. In 1961, at the end of a five-day long founding convention which established its principles, policies and structures, the New Democratic Party was born, and Tommy Douglas, the long-time CCF Premier of Saskatchewan, was elected as its first leader.[16]

David Lewis[edit]

At the 1971 leadership convention, an activist group called the Waffle tried to take control of the party but was defeated by David Lewis with the help of the union members. The following year, most of The Waffle split from the NDP and formed their own party. The NDP itself supported the minority government formed by the Pierre Trudeau–led Liberals from 1972 to 1974, although the two parties never entered into a coalition. Together, they succeeded in passing several socially progressive initiatives into law such as pension indexing and the creation of the crown corporation Petro-Canada.[17]

In 1974, the NDP worked with the Progressive Conservatives to pass a motion of non-confidence, forcing an election. However, it backfired as Trudeau's Liberals regained a majority government, mostly at the expense of the NDP, which lost half its seats. Lewis lost his own riding and resigned as leader the following year.

Ed Broadbent[edit]

Under Ed Broadbent (1975–1989) the NDP attempted to find a more populist image to contrast with the governing parties, focusing on more pocketbook issues than on ideological fervour. The party played a critical role during Joe Clark's minority government of 1979–1980, moving the non-confidence motion on John Crosbie's 1979 budget that brought down the Progressive Conservative government and forced the 1980 election that brought the Liberal Party back to power.

In the 1984 election, which saw the Progressive Conservatives under Brian Mulroney win the most seats in Canadian history, the NDP won 30 seats, while the governing Liberals fell to 40 seats.

The NDP set a then-record of 43 members of parliament (MPs) elected to the house in the election of 1988. The Liberals, however, had reaped most of the benefits of opposing the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement to emerge as the dominant alternative to the ruling PC government. In 1989, Broadbent stepped down after 14 years as federal leader of the NDP.[18]

Audrey McLaughlin[edit]

At the party's leadership convention in 1989, former BC Premier Dave Barrett and Yukon MP Audrey McLaughlin were the main contenders for the leadership. During the campaign, Barrett argued that the party should be concerned with western alienation, rather than focusing its attention on Quebec. The Quebec wing of the NDP strongly opposed Barrett's candidacy, with Phil Edmonston, the party's main spokesman in Quebec, threatening to resign from the party if Barrett won.[19] McLaughlin ran on a more traditional approach, and became the first woman to lead a major federal political party in Canada.

Although enjoying strong support among organized labour and rural voters in the Prairies, McLaughlin tried to expand their support into Quebec without much success. Under McLaughlin, the party did manage to win an election in Quebec for the first time when Edmonston won a 1990 by-election.

McLaughlin and the NDP were routed in the 1993 election, where the party won only nine seats, three seats short of official party status in the House of Commons. This was, and remains, the NDP's lowest seat total in any election since the party's founding in 1961; the election also resulted in the lowest-ever total number of votes received by the NDP in a federal election. The loss was blamed on the unpopularity of NDP provincial governments under Bob Rae in Ontario and Mike Harcourt in British Columbia and the loss of a significant portion of the Western vote to the Reform Party, which promised a more decentralized and democratic federation along with right-wing economic reforms.

Alexa McDonough[edit]

McLaughlin resigned in 1995 and was succeeded by Alexa McDonough, the former leader of the Nova Scotia NDP. In contrast to traditional Canadian practice, where an MP for a safe seat stands down to allow a newly elected leader a chance to enter Parliament via a by-election, McDonough opted to wait until the next election to enter Parliament.

The party recovered somewhat in the 1997 election, electing 21 members. The NDP made a breakthrough in Atlantic Canada, a region where they had been practically nonexistent at the federal level. Before 1997, they had won only three seats in Atlantic Canada. However, in 1997 they won eight seats in that region. The party was able to harness the discontent of voters in Atlantic Canada, who were upset over cuts to employment insurance and other social programs implemented by Jean Chrétien's Liberal majority government.

In the November 2000 election, the NDP campaigned primarily on the issue of Medicare but lost significant support. The governing Liberals ran an effective campaign on their economic record and managed to recapture some of the Atlantic ridings lost to the NDP in the 1997 election. The initial high electoral prospects of the Canadian Alliance under new leader Stockwell Day also hurt the NDP as many supporters strategically voted Liberal to keep the Alliance from winning. The NDP finished with 13 MPs—just barely over the threshold for official party status.

McDonough announced her resignation as party leader for family reasons in June 2002 (effective upon her successor's election).

21st century[edit]

Jack Layton was the first leader of the NDP to become Leader of the Official Opposition.

Jack Layton[edit]

A Toronto city councillor and recent President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Jack Layton was elected at the party's leadership election in Toronto on January 25, 2003.[20]

The 2004 election produced mixed results for the NDP. It increased its total vote by more than a million votes; however, despite Layton's optimistic predictions of reaching 40 seats, the NDP only gained five seats in the election, for a total of 19. The party was disappointed to see its two Saskatchewan incumbents defeated in close races by the new Conservative Party (created by merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties), perhaps because of the unpopularity of the NDP provincial government.

The Liberals were re-elected, though this time as a minority government. Combined, the Liberals and NDP had 154 seats – one short of the total needed for the balance of power. As has been the case with Liberal minorities in the past, the NDP were in a position to make gains on the party's priorities, such as fighting health care privatization, fulfilling Canada's obligation to the Kyoto Protocol, and electoral reform. The party used Prime Minister Paul Martin's politically precarious position caused by the sponsorship scandal to force investment in multiple federal programs, agreeing not to help topple the government provided that some major concessions in the federal budget were ceded to.

On November 9, 2005, after the findings of the Gomery Inquiry were released, Layton notified the Liberal government that continued NDP support would require a ban on private healthcare. When the Liberals refused, Layton announced that he would introduce a motion on November 24 that would ask Martin to call a federal election in February to allow for several pieces of legislation to be passed. The Liberals turned down this offer. On November 28, 2005, Conservative leader Stephen Harper's motion of no confidence was seconded by Layton and it was passed by all three opposition parties, forcing an election.

During the election the NDP won 29 seats, a significant increase of 10 seats from the 19 won in 2004. It was the fourth-best performance in party history, approaching the level of popular support enjoyed in the 1980s. The NDP kept all of the 18 seats it held at the dissolution of Parliament. While the party gained no seats in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, or the Prairie provinces, it gained five seats in British Columbia, five more in Ontario and the Western Arctic riding of the Northwest Territories.

The Conservatives won a minority government in the 2006 election, and initially the NDP was the only party that would not be able to pass legislation with the Conservatives. However, following a series of floor crossings, the NDP also came to hold the balance of power. The NDP voted against the government in all four confidence votes in the 39th parliament, the only party to do so. However, it worked with the Conservatives on other issues, including in passing the Federal Accountability Act and pushing for changes to the Clean Air Act.

Following that election, the NDP caucus rose to 30 members with the victory of NDP candidate Thomas Mulcair in a by-election in Outremont. This marked the second time ever (and first time in seventeen years) that the NDP won a riding in Quebec. The party won 37 seats in the 2008 federal election, the best performance since the 1988 total of 43. This included a breakthrough in the riding of Edmonton-Strathcona, only the second time the NDP had managed to win a seat in Alberta in the party's history.

In the 2011 federal election, the NDP won a record 103 seats, becoming the Official Opposition for the first time in the party's history. The party had a historic breakthrough in Quebec, where they won 59 out of 75 seats, dominating Montreal and sweeping Quebec City and the Outaouais. This meant that a majority of the party's MPs now came from a province where they had only ever had two candidates elected in the party's history. The NDP's success in Quebec was mirrored by the collapse of the Bloc Québécois, which lost all but four of its 47 seats, and the collapse of the Liberal Party nationally, which was cut down to just 34 seats, its worst-ever result. This also marked the first time in history where the Liberal Party was neither the government nor the Official Opposition, as the NDP had taken over the latter role. The NDP was now the second largest party in the House of Commons opposing a Conservative majority government.

In July 2011, Layton announced that he was suffering from a new cancer and would take a leave of absence, projected to last until the resumption of Parliament in September. He would retain his position of NDP Leader and Leader of the Opposition. The party confirmed his suggestion of Hull—Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel to carry out the functions of party leader in his absence. Layton died from his cancer on August 22, 2011.

Tom Mulcair[edit]

Tom Mulcair
Results of the 2015 Canadian federal election showing support for New Democratic candidates by riding

In his final letter, Layton called for a leadership election to be held in early 2012 to choose his successor,[21] which was held on March 24, 2012, and elected new leader Tom Mulcair.[22]

Despite early campaign polls which showed the NDP in first place, the party lost 59 seats in the 2015 election and fell back to third place in Parliament. By winning 44 seats, Mulcair was able to secure the second best showing in the party's history, winning one more seat than Ed Broadbent managed in the 1988 election, but with a smaller share of the popular vote.[23] NDP seat gains in Saskatchewan and British Columbia were offset by numerical losses in almost every other region, while in Alberta and Manitoba the party maintained its existing seat counts. The party was locked out of Atlantic Canada and the Territories, and lost over half of its seats in Ontario, including all of its seats in Toronto. In Quebec, the NDP lost seats to all three of the other major parties, namely the Liberals, Conservatives, and Bloc Québécois, though it managed to place second in both vote share (25.4%) and seats (16) behind the Liberals in the province. The election resulted in a Liberal majority government.

Mulcair's leadership faced criticism following the election, culminating in his losing a leadership review vote held at the NDP's policy convention in Edmonton, Alberta on April 10, 2016. This marked the first time in Canadian federal politics that a leader was defeated in a confidence vote.[24] Consequently, his successor was to be chosen at a leadership election to be held no later than October 2017, with Mulcair agreeing to remain as leader until then.[25]

Jagmeet Singh[edit]

Jagmeet Singh

On October 1, 2017, Jagmeet Singh, the first person of a visible minority group to lead a major Canadian federal political party on a permanent basis, won the leadership vote to head the NDP on the first ballot.[26]

In the 2019 federal election, the NDP won only 24 seats in its worst result since 2004, shedding 15 seats.[27] Alexandre Boulerice, who was elected to his third term in Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, was the only NDP candidate to win a seat in Quebec,[28] while the party lost all three of its Saskatchewan ridings (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, Regina—Lewvan, and Saskatoon West) to the Conservatives.[29] The party remained shut out of Toronto[30] and lost two of its MPs (Cheryl Hardcastle in Windsor—Tecumseh and Tracey Ramsey in Essex) in the rest of Ontario,[31] while making small or no gains in the popular vote in Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and Nunavut. In British Columbia, the NDP lost three seats (Kootenay—Columbia, Port Moody—Coquitlam, and, after having lost it at a by-election, Nanaimo—Ladysmith) but retained most of their support in the province.[32]

Following the election, the NDP held the balance of power as the Liberals won a minority government, although it fell back to fourth place behind the resurgent Bloc Québécois.[33][34] During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDP used its leverage to lobby the Liberals to be more generous in their financial aid to Canadians, including by extending of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program, which was a key demand in order to provide confidence to the government in the autumn of 2020.[35]

In the snap 2021 federal election, the NDP made minor gains in both vote share and seat count, winning in 25 ridings. The party won a second seat in Alberta for the first time when Blake Desjarlais picked up Edmonton Griesbach and Heather McPherson won her second term at Edmonton Strathcona. The party also picked up two seats in British Columbia with Lisa Marie Barron reclaiming Nanaimo—Ladysmith and Bonita Zarrillo reclaiming Port Moody—Coquitlam.[36] These gains were offset by losses to the Liberals in St. John's East and Hamilton Mountain, where incumbent NDP MPs Jack Harris and Scott Duvall did not stand for re-election.[37][38] Overall, the election resulted in no change to the balance of power in the House of Commons.[39] In March 2022, the NDP agreed to a confidence and supply deal with the Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.[40]

Ideology, position and policies[edit]

The NDP evolved in 1961 from a merger of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). The CCF grew from populist, agrarian and socialist roots into a modern social democratic party. Although the CCF was part of the Christian left and the Social Gospel movement,[41] the NDP is secular and pluralistic. It has broadened to include concerns of the New Left, and advocates issues such as LGBT rights, international peace, and environmental stewardship.[42] The NDP also supports a mixed economy and broader welfare,[43] and has a left-wing,[10][11] democratic socialist faction.[44] The NDP is a member of the Progressive Alliance, a political international of progressive and social democratic parties.[4]

Ideological orientation[edit]

The NDP's constitution states that both social democracy and democratic socialism are influences on the party. Specific inclusion of the party's history as the continuation of the more radical Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, and specific identification of the "democratic socialist" tradition as a continuing influence on the party are part of the language of the preamble to the party's constitution:

New Democrats are proud of our political and activist heritage, and our long record of visionary, practical, and successful governments. That heritage and that record have distinguished and inspired our party since the creation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in 1933 and the founding of the New Democratic Party in 1961. New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements, and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.[45]

Health care[edit]

The NDP states that it is committed to public health care. The party states that it fights for "a national, universal, public pharmacare program to make sure that all Canadians can access the prescription medicine they need with their health card, not their credit card – saving money and improving health outcomes for everyone".[46] The party also states its support for expanding services covered under the national health care system to include dental care, mental health care, eye and hearing care, infertility procedures, and prescription drugs. Regarding dentistry, the NDP notes that "one in three Canadians has no dental insurance and over six million people don't visit the dentist every year because they can't afford to. Too many people are forced to go without the care they need until the pain is so severe that they are forced to seek relief in hospital emergency rooms".[47]


The NDP supports the Palestinian state. In March 2024, an NDP motion on Palestine was passed after significant amendments were agreed with the Liberals. In particular, the motion called on the government to "officially recognize the State of Palestine", but this was amended to "work...towards the establishment of the State of Palestine as part of a negotiated two-state solution."[48]

Electoral achievements[edit]

Since its formation, the party has had a presence in the House of Commons. It was the third largest political party from 1965 to 1993, when the party dropped to fourth and lost official party status. The NDP's peak period of policy influence in those periods was during the minority Liberal governments of Lester B. Pearson (1963–68) and Pierre Trudeau (1972–74). The NDP regained official status in 1997, and played a similar role in the Liberal and Conservative minority governments of 2004–2006 and 2006–2011, respectively. Following the 2011 election, the party became the second-largest party and formed the Official Opposition in the 41st Canadian Parliament.

Provincial New Democratic parties, which are organizationally sections of the federal party, have governed in six of the ten provinces and a territory. The NDP governs the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba, forms the Official Opposition in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, and has sitting members in every provincial legislature except those of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The NDP has previously formed the government in the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and the Yukon Territory. The NDP has previously had at least one sitting member in every provincial legislature except that of Quebec.

While members of the party are active in municipal politics, the party does not organize at that level. For example, though former Toronto mayor David Miller was an NDP member during his successful 2003 and 2006 mayoral campaigns, his campaigns were not affiliated with the NDP.

Provincial and territorial wings[edit]

NDP leaders at the federal and provincial levels during a federal leaders summit on January 15, 2013

Unlike most other Canadian federal parties, the NDP is integrated with its provincial and territorial parties. Holding membership of a provincial or territorial section of the NDP includes automatic membership in the federal party, and this precludes a person from being a member of different parties at the federal and provincial levels. Membership lists are maintained by the provinces and territories.

There have been three exceptions: Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Quebec. In Nunavut and in the Northwest Territories, whose territorial legislatures have non-partisan consensus governments, the federal NDP is promoted by its riding associations, since each territory is composed of only one federal riding.

In Quebec, the historical New Democratic Party of Quebec was integrated with the federal party from 1963 until 1989, when the two agreed to sever their structural ties after the Quebec party adopted a sovereigntist platform. From then on, the federal NDP was represented in Quebec only by their Quebec Section,[49] whose activities in the province were limited to the federal level. However, following the party's breakthrough in the province in the 2011 federal election, the NDP announced their plans to recreate a provincial party in Quebec in time for the following Quebec general election.[50] The modern New Democratic Party of Quebec party was registered with the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec on January 30, 2014,[51] but it failed to nominate any candidates in the 2014 election. The new NPDQ is not affiliated to the federal NDP due to more recent provincial laws in Quebec which disallow provincial parties from affiliating with federal parties.[52][failed verification]

The NDP in Quebec has been in decline since 2016, struggling to attract local leaders and support.[53][54]

Current seat counts and leaders of provincial and territorial parties
Party Seats / Total Role in legislature Last election Leader
Alberta New Democratic Party
38 / 87
Opposition 2023 Rachel Notley
British Columbia New Democratic Party
57 / 87
Majority 2020 David Eby
New Democratic Party of Manitoba
34 / 57
Majority 2023 Wab Kinew
New Brunswick New Democratic Party
0 / 49
Extra-parliamentary 2020 Alex White
New Democratic Party of
Newfoundland and Labrador
3 / 40
Third party 2021 Jim Dinn
Nova Scotia New Democratic Party
6 / 55
Third party 2021 Claudia Chender
Ontario New Democratic Party
31 / 124
Opposition 2022 Marit Stiles
New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island
0 / 27
Extra-parliamentary 2023 Michelle Neill
Saskatchewan New Democratic Party
14 / 61
Opposition 2020 Carla Beck
Yukon New Democratic Party
3 / 19
Confidence and supply
(Liberal minority)
2021 Kate White

The most successful provincial section of the party has been the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party, which first came to power in 1944 as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation under Tommy Douglas and has won eleven of the province's elections since then. In Canada, Douglas is often cited as the "Father of Medicare" since, as Saskatchewan Premier, he introduced Canada's first publicly funded, universal healthcare system to the province. Despite the historic success of the Saskatchewan branch of the party, the NDP was shut out of Saskatchewan for the 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011 federal elections,[55] before winning three seats there in the 2015 federal election.[56] The NDP would once again be shut out of Saskatchewan as part of the Conservatives sweep of the province in the 2019 election.[29]

The New Democratic Party has also formed government in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Yukon.

Best historic seat counts for provincial and territorial parties
Province/Territory Seats / Total Role in legislature Year Concurrent party leader
54 / 87
Majority 2015 Rachel Notley (Premier 2015–2019)
British Columbia
57 / 87
Majority 2020 John Horgan (Premier 2017–2022)
37 / 57
Majority 2011 Greg Selinger (Premier 2009–2016)
New Brunswick
2 / 58
Third party 1984
George Little
and Labrador
5 / 48
Third party 2011 Lorraine Michael
Nova Scotia
31 / 52
Majority 2009 Darrell Dexter (Premier 2009–2013)
74 / 130
Majority 1990 Bob Rae (Premier 1990–1995)
Prince Edward Island
1 / 27
Third party 1996 Herb Dickieson
1 / 91
Fourth party 1944
(as CCF)
David Côté
55 / 66
Majority 1991 Roy Romanow (Premier 1991–2001)
11 / 17
Majority 1996 Piers McDonald (Premier 1996–2000)

Federal leaders[edit]

Note: the right-hand column does not allocate height proportional to time in office.

A list of leaders (including acting leaders) since 1961.

No. Leader
Portrait Riding Took office Left office Prime Minister (term)
1 Tommy Douglas
(Saskatchewan)[note 1]
Nanaimo—Cowichan—The Islands
August 3, 1961 April 24, 1971 Diefenbaker (1957–1963)
Pearson (1963–1968)
P. Trudeau (1968–1979)
2 David Lewis
York South April 24, 1971 July 7, 1975
3 Ed Broadbent
July 7, 1975 December 5, 1989
Clark (1979–1980)
P. Trudeau (1980–1984)
Turner (1984)
Mulroney (1984–1993)
4 Audrey McLaughlin
(b. 1936)
Yukon December 5, 1989 October 14, 1995
Campbell (1993)
Chrétien (1993–2003)
5 Alexa McDonough
Halifax Fairview
(Nova Scotia)[note 2]
October 14, 1995 January 25, 2003
6 Jack Layton
Toronto–Danforth January 25, 2003 August 22, 2011[note 3]
Martin (2003–2006)
Harper (2006–2015)
Interim Nycole Turmel
(b. 1942)
Hull—Aylmer July 28, 2011 March 24, 2012
7 Tom Mulcair
(b. 1954)
Outremont March 24, 2012 October 1, 2017
J. Trudeau (2015–present)
8 Jagmeet Singh
(b. 1979)
(Ontario)[note 4]
Burnaby South
October 1, 2017 Incumbent
  1. ^ Sat as the Premier of Saskatchewan and head of the Saskatchewan CCF until November 7, 1961.
  2. ^ Sat as a Nova Scotia MLA until October 20, 1995.
  3. ^ On July 28, 2011, Layton took a leave of absence.
  4. ^ Sat as Ontario MPP until October 20, 2017.

Federal party presidents[edit]

The party president is the administrative chairperson of the party, chairing party conventions, councils and executive meetings.

Order Photo Name Term Notes
1 Michael Kelway Oliver 1961–1963 The academic was acclaimed as first president of the NDP; later president of Carleton University
2 Merv Johnson 1963–1965 Former CCF MP for Kindersley, Saskatchewan
3 Eamon Park 1965–1967 Former CCF MPP for Dovercourt in the Ontario legislature
4 James Renwick 1967–1969 Concurrently NDP MPP for Riverdale in the Ontario legislature
5 Allan Blakeney[57] 1969–1971 Former Saskatchewan Health Minister, went on to become Premier of Saskatchewan
6 Donald C. MacDonald 1971–1975 Former leader of the Ontario NDP, concurrently served as MPP for York South in the provincial legislature
7 Joyce Nash 1975–1977 British Columbia party activist and feminist, first woman to become NDP president.
8 Alvin Hewitt 1977–1981 Previously president of the Saskatchewan NDP for 6 years.
9 Tony Penikett 1981–1985 Subsequently, Premier of Yukon territory
10 Marion Dewar 1985–1987 Previously Mayor of Ottawa and subsequently NDP MP for Hamilton Mountain
11 Johanna den Hertog 1987–1989 Ran unsuccessfully for the NDP in Vancouver Centre in the 1988 federal election
12 Sandra Mitchell 1989–1991 Saskatoon lawyer[58]
13 Nancy Riche 1991–1995 Vice president of the Canadian Labour Congress.[59]
14 Iain Angus 1995–1997 Former Ontario MP.[60]
15 Ed Tchorzewski 1997–1999 Former Saskatchewan cabinet minister
16 Dave MacKinnon[61] c. 1999–2000

Adam Giambrone[62] 2001–2006 At age 24, he was the youngest person to ever become president of a political party. Toronto City Councillor for the latter part of his term.

Anne McGrath[63] 2006–2009 Elected at the 2006 party convention in Quebec City. Served as Chief of Staff to Jack Layton (2008–2011). Subsequently, Principal Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff to Premier Rachel Notley (2015–2019); and National Director of the NDP 2014–2015 and 2019–present

Peggy Nash[64] 2009–2011 Elected at the 2009 party convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia. MP for Parkdale—High Park prior to and following her term.

Brian Topp[65] 2011 Resigned after three months to run for leader of the NDP following the death of Jack Layton. National Campaign Director in 2006 and 2008. Subsequently, chief of staff to Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley.

Rebecca Blaikie[66] 2011–2016 Former executive director of the NDP in Quebec and former party treasurer

Marit Stiles 2016–2018 Leader of the Ontario NDP (2023-), NDP MPP (2018-) and former Toronto School Board Trustee (2014-2018).
23 Mathieu Vick 2018–2021 First francophone president; formerly national caucus coordinator for the NDP
24 Dhananjai Kohli 2021–2023 First president from a visible minority; United Steelworkers staff representative; formerly Ontario NDP organizer
25 Mary Shortall 2023–present Former president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour; unsuccessful NDP candidate for St. John's East in 2021

Election results[edit]

Election Leader Seats +/– Votes % Rank Position/Gov.
1962 Tommy Douglas
19 / 265
Increase 11 1,044,754 13.57 4th Fourth party
17 / 265
Decrease 2 1,044,701 13.22 Steady 4th Fourth party
21 / 265
Increase 4 1,381,658 17.91 Increase 3rd Third party
22 / 264
Increase 1 1,378,263 16.96 Steady 3rd Third party
1972 David Lewis
31 / 264
Increase 9 1,725,719 17.83 Steady 3rd Third party
16 / 264
Decrease 15 1,467,748 15.44 Steady 3rd Third party
1979 Ed Broadbent
26 / 282
Increase 10 2,048,988 17.88 Steady 3rd Third party
32 / 282
Increase 6 2,165,087 19.77 Steady 3rd Third party
30 / 282
Decrease 2 2,359,915 18.81 Steady 3rd Third party
43 / 295
Increase 13 2,685,263 20.38 Steady 3rd Third party
1993 Audrey McLaughlin
9 / 295
Decrease 34 939,575 6.88 Decrease 4th No status
1997 Alexa McDonough
21 / 301
Increase 12 1,434,509 11.05 Steady 4th Fourth party
13 / 301
Decrease 8 1,093,748 8.51 Steady 4th Fourth party
2004 Jack Layton
19 / 308
Increase 6 2,127,403 15.68 Steady 4th Fourth party
29 / 308
Increase 10 2,589,597 17.48 Steady 4th Fourth party
37 / 308
Increase 8 2,515,288 18.18 Steady 4th Fourth party
103 / 308
Increase 66 4,508,474 30.63 Increase 2nd Opposition
2015 Tom Mulcair
44 / 338
Decrease 59 3,441,409 19.71 Decrease 3rd Third party
2019 Jagmeet Singh
24 / 338
Decrease 20 2,903,722 15.98 Decrease 4th Fourth party
25 / 338
Increase 1 3,036,346 17.83 Steady 4th Fourth party
Confidence and supply
(Liberal minority)

Results timeline[edit]

Year Canada
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
1933 N/A N/A 31.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.7 N/A N/A
1934 24.0 7.0
1935 9.3
1936 12.0
1937 Decrease 28.6 Decrease 5.6 N/A
1938 Decrease 18.7
1939 0.5
1940 Decrease 8.4 11.1
1941 Increase 33.4 Increase 17.0 Increase 7.0
1943 Increase 31.7 2.1
1944 Increase 24.2 Increase 53.1 Increase 2.9 11.7
1945 Increase 15.6 Increase 37.6 Increase 33.8 Decrease 22.4 Increase 13.6
1947 Increase 4.3
1948 Decrease 19.1 Decrease 47.6 Increase 27.0 Decrease 0.6 Decrease 6.0
1949 Decrease 13.4 Decrease 35.1 Decrease 25.6 Decrease 9.6
1951 Decrease 19.1 Decrease 1.7
1952 Decrease 30.8 Decrease 14.1 Increase 54.1 Increase 1.0 Decrease 1.3
1953 Decrease 11.3 Increase 30.9 Decrease 16.6 Decrease 6.8
1955 Decrease 8.2 Decrease 16.5 N/A
1956 Decrease 28.3 Decrease 45.3 Decrease 0.6 N/A Decrease 3.0 0.0
1957 Decrease 10.6
1958 Decrease 9.5 Increase 20.0
1959 Decrease 4.3 Increase 21.8 Increase 16.7 Increase 7.2
1960 Increase 32.8 Decrease 40.8 Decrease 0.0 Increase 8.9
1962 Increase 13.6 Decrease 15.2 N/A Decrease 3.6
1963 Decrease 13.2 Decrease 27.8 Increase 9.5 Decrease 15.5 Decrease 4.1
1964 Decrease 40.3
1965 Increase 17.9
1966 Increase 33.6 Increase 23.1 Decrease 1.8
1967 Increase 16.0 Increase 44.3 Increase 25.9 0.1 Increase 5.2
1968 Decrease 17.0
1969 Increase 33.9 Increase 38.3
1970 0.2 Increase 2.8 Increase 6.6
1971 Decrease 11.4 Increase 55.0 Increase 27.1 Steady 1.8
1972 Increase 17.8 Increase 39.6 Decrease 0.2
1973 Increase 42.3 N/A
1974 Decrease 15.4 Increase 2.9 Increase 13.0 5.9
1975 Decrease 39.2 Increase 12.9 Decrease 40.1 Increase 28.9 Increase 4.4
1976 0.1
1977 Decrease 38.6 Decrease 28.0
1978 20.3 Increase 48.1 Increase 6.5 Increase 14.4 Decrease 0.9
1979 Increase 17.9 Increase 46.0 Increase 15.8 Increase 1.3 Increase 7.8
1980 Increase 19.8
1981 Increase 47.4 Decrease 21.2 N/A Increase 18.1
1982 Increase 35.4 Increase 18.7 Decrease 37.6 Increase 10.2 Decrease 0.5 Decrease 3.7
1983 Increase 44.9
1984 Decrease 18.8 Decrease 15.9
1985 Increase 41.1 Increase 23.8 2.4 Increase 14.4
1986 Decrease 42.6 Increase 29.2 Increase 45.2 Decrease 41.5 Increase 4.0
1987 Increase 25.7 Increase 10.6
1988 Increase 20.4 Decrease 23.6 Decrease 15.7
1989 Increase 44.9 Decrease 26.3 Decrease 1.2 Decrease 3.5 Decrease 4.4
1990 Increase 28.8 Increase 37.6
1991 Decrease 40.7 Increase 51.0 Increase 10.8
1992 Decrease 35.1 N/A
1993 Decrease 6.9 Decrease 11.0 Increase 17.7 Increase 5.4 Increase 7.4
1995 Decrease 47.2 Increase 32.8 Decrease 20.6 Decrease 9.7
1996 Increase 39.9 Decrease 39.5 Increase 7.9 Decrease 4.5
1997 Increase 11.1 Decrease 8.8
1998 Increase 34.4
1999 Decrease 38.7 Increase 44.5 Decrease 12.6 Decrease 8.8 Decrease 29.7 Increase 8.2
2000 Decrease 8.5 Decrease 32.8 Increase 8.4
2001 Decrease 21.5 Decrease 8.0
2002 Decrease 26.9
2003 Increase 44.6 Increase 49.5 Increase 14.7 Increase 9.7 Increase 30.9 Decrease 3.1 Decrease 6.7
2004 Increase 15.7 Increase 10.2
2005 Increase 41.4
2006 Increase 17.5 Decrease 23.6 Decrease 5.1 Increase 34.6
2007 Decrease 37.2 Decrease 47.7 Increase 16.8 Decrease 2.0 Increase 8.5
2008 Increase 18.2 Decrease 8.5
2009 Increase 42.1 Increase 45.2
2010 Increase 10.4
2011 Increase 30.6 Increase 32.6 Decrease 32.0 Decrease 46.2 Increase 22.7 Increase 3.2 Increase 24.6
2012 Increase 9.9
2013 Decrease 39.7 Decrease 26.9
2014 Increase 23.8 Increase 13.0
2015 Decrease 19.7 Increase 40.6 Increase 11.0 Decrease 12.1
2016 Decrease 26.2 Decrease 30.4 Decrease 25.7
2017 Increase 40.3 Decrease 21.4
2018 Increase 33.6 Decrease 5.0
2019 Decrease 16.0 Decrease 32.7 Increase 31.4 Decrease 3.0 Decrease 6.3
2020 Increase 47.7 Increase 31.6 Decrease 1.7
2021 Increase 17.9 Increase 28.2 Decrease 20.9 Increase 8.0
2022 Decrease 23.8
2023 Increase 44.0 TBD Increase 4.5
Year Canada
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
Bold indicates best result to date.
  Present in legislature
  Official opposition
  In government


Logo history
1961 (founding convention) 1961–1984 1984–1997 1997[67]–2004[a] 2004–2012[a] 2012–present[a]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bilingual version of the logo


  1. ^
  2. ^ Neville, William (August 3, 1961). "Douglas Leads New Party, 'Democratic' Tag in Name". The Vancouver Sun. Vancouver. UPI. p. 1. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Éric Grenier (August 29, 2017). "NDP triples its membership to 124,000 in run-up to party's leadership vote". Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Parties & Organisations of the Progressive Alliance". Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  5. ^ The party is widely described as social democratic:
  6. ^ David McGrane (2018). "Electoral competition in Canada among the centre-left parties: liberal versus social democrats". In Rob Manwaring; Paul Kennedy (eds.). Why the Left Loses: The Decline of the Centre-Left in Comparative Perspective. Policy Press. pp. 39–52. ISBN 978-1-4473-3266-4.
  7. ^ "Canada's New Democrats elect Jagmeet Singh as party leader". BBC News. October 2, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  8. ^ How Canada's politics are different to Australia's. ABC. Author – Annabelle Quince. Published 16 October 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  9. ^ Death of Jack Layton Weakens Canada's Political Opposition. The New York Times. Author – Ian Austen. Published August 22, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2019
  10. ^ a b Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant (2013). Gendered News: Media Coverage and Electoral Politics in Canada. UBC Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7748-2625-9.
  11. ^ a b Andrea Olive (2015). The Canadian Environment in Political Context. University of Toronto Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-4426-0871-9.
  12. ^ David Martin Thomas; David Biette (2014). Canada and the United States: Differences that Count, Fourth Edition. University of Toronto Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-1-4426-0908-2.
  13. ^ Rodney P. Carlisle (2005). Encyclopedia of Politics: The Left and the Right. SAGE Publications. p. 274. ISBN 978-1-4522-6531-5.
  14. ^ Pamela Behan (2012). Solving the Health Care Problem: How Other Nations Succeeded and Why the United States Has Not. SUNY Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0-791-48135-6.
  15. ^ Marc Guinjoan (2014). Parties, Elections and Electoral Contests: Competition and Contamination Effects. Ashgate. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-4724-3910-9.
  16. ^ "The evolution of CCF into NDP: 1961 and after". Archived from the original on February 5, 2009.
  17. ^ "David Lewis – Federal NDP Leader 1971–75 – Biography of David Lewis". Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  18. ^ "CBC News Indepth: Ed Broadbent". Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  19. ^ "Dave Barrett". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "New Democrats pick a new leader". Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  21. ^ Layton, Jack. "A letter to Canadians from the Honourable Jack Layton". New Democratic Party of Canada. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  22. ^ "NDP leadership convention: Thomas Mulcair holds on for victory". Vancouver Sun. March 24, 2012. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  23. ^ Elizabeth McSheffrey (October 21, 2015). "Better luck next time, Mr. Mulcair". National Observer. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  24. ^ "A history of dramatic leadership reviews in Canadian politics". Maclean's. The Canadian Press. April 10, 2016. Archived from the original on April 11, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  25. ^ Bell, David (April 10, 2016). "Mulcair 'a lame duck,' says political scientist on NDP convention results". CBC News. Archived from the original on April 5, 2023.
  26. ^ Zimonjic, Peter (October 1, 2017). "Jagmeet Singh wins leadership of federal NDP on first ballot". Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  27. ^ Tunney, Catharine (October 22, 2019). "Singh fails to capitalize on late-campaign momentum as NDP loses seats". CBC News. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024.
  28. ^ Laframboise, Kalina (October 22, 2019). "NDP all but disappears in Quebec as Liberals form minority government". Global News. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023.
  29. ^ a b Dawson, Tyler (October 22, 2019). "Andrew Scheer's Conservatives sweep over the Prairies in the 2019 federal election results". National Post. Archived from the original on February 23, 2024.
  30. ^ Ballingall, Alex (October 22, 2019). "Jagmeet Singh can't explain how the NDP failed to win any seats in Toronto in election 2019". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on April 4, 2023.
  31. ^ Crawley, Mike (October 22, 2019). "Ontario proves crucial to propelling Liberals to second term". CBC News. Archived from the original on April 4, 2023.
  32. ^ Boynton, Sean (October 22, 2019). "B.C. election results full of surprises with Tory gains, NDP losses and Greens staying put". Global News. Archived from the original on December 23, 2023.
  33. ^ Lowrie, Morgan (October 22, 2019). "Liberals, Bloc Quebecois split Quebec vote as NDP nearly wiped out". BNN Bloomberg. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on April 4, 2023.
  34. ^ What the NDP's drop in seats means for the party, Global News, October 22, 2019
  35. ^ Can the NDP take credit for improving pandemic benefits? CTV News, August 18, 2021
  36. ^ NDP projected to make minor gains in Jagmeet Singh's 2nd election as party leader, CBC News, September 21. 2021
  37. ^ NDPer Malcolm Allen concedes, Liberal Lisa Hepfner becomes new Hamilton Mountain MP, CBC News, September 22, 2021
  38. ^ Liberals flip St. John's East (federal electoral district)|St. John's East, as Conservatives look to claim Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, CBC News, September 21, 2021
  39. ^ Meet the new parliament, same as the old parliament, Global News, September 21, 2021
  40. ^ "Liberals, NDP agree to confidence deal seeing Trudeau government maintain power until 2025". CTV News. March 22, 2022.
  41. ^ Bob Stewart (1983). "The United Church of Canada in British Columbia" (PDF). Retrieved April 15, 2011.
  42. ^ "POLICY OF THE New Democratic Party of Canada : EFFECTIVE APRIL 2016" (PDF). Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  43. ^ "New Democratic Party". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  44. ^ Laura Payton (April 14, 2013). "NDP votes to take 'socialism' out of party constitution". CBC News. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  45. ^ "Constitution of the New Democratic Party of Canada, Effective April 2013" (PDF). New Democratic Party of Canada.
  46. ^ "A new deal for better health care for all Canadians". New Democratic Party (official website). Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  47. ^ "Extending Medicare to cover services you need". New Democratic Party (official website). Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  48. ^ Aiello, Rachel (March 18, 2024). "NDP motion regarding Palestinian statehood passes after major Liberal alterations". CTV News.
  49. ^ "Nouveau Parti Démocratique | Nouveau Parti Démocratique Section Québec". March 31, 2010. Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  50. ^ "NDP coming to Quebec for next election". CBC News. August 17, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  51. ^ "Nouveau Parti démocratique du Québec". DGE. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  52. ^ Greenaway, Kathryn (August 29, 2018). "NDPQ candidates head out on campaign trail in West Island". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  53. ^ Dufour, Frédérick Guillaume (October 3, 2021). "Why the NDP missed the boat in Québec during the federal election". The Conversation. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  54. ^ Paas-Lang, Christian (September 18, 2021). "10 years on, the Orange Wave in Quebec is barely a trickle. Can this election reverse the tide?". CBC.
  55. ^ Graham, Jennifer (October 20, 2015). "NDP hopes for major gains in Saskatchewan dashed by Conservatives". CityNews. The Canadian Press. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  56. ^ "Good news story, bad news story: the NDP in Saskatchewan". CBC News. October 20, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  57. ^ "Moderate elected president; Watkins joins executive", The Globe and Mail, Nov 1, 1969
  58. ^ "City lawyer wins NDP presidency", Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, December 4, 1989
  59. ^ "McLaughlin vows to quiz party faithful on unity views", Montreal Gazette, June 10, 1991
  60. ^ "NDP President", Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, October 16, 1995
  61. ^ "New Democrats grit teeth over MP's outbursts", Montreal Gazette, June 17, 1999
  62. ^ Connor, Kevin (April 15, 2011). "Sun News talking the talk". Toronto Sun. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  63. ^ "Anne McGrath elected NDP President" (Press release). New Democratic Party. September 10, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  64. ^ Galloway, Gloria (August 15, 2009). "Folksy Dexter plays the hero". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  65. ^ Smith, Joanna (June 19, 2011). "Heated debate as New Democrats defer motion to drop socialist from constitution". The Toronto Star. Toronto. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  66. ^ Bryden, Joan (March 26, 2012). "NDP hunts for source of cyber-attack on electronic voting system". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  67. ^ "Junkets around the world keeps former Rat Packer busy". Regina Leader-Post. March 29, 1997. p. 12. Retrieved April 13, 2023.

External links[edit]