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Federal NDP Leaders

Learn about the political careers of federal NDP leaders since the inception of the New Democratic Party of Canada in 1961.

Thomas Mulcair - Leader of the Federal NDP
Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair won the leadership of the NDP in 2012, and his immediate focus is on the next federal election in 2015.

Nycole Turmel - Interim Leader of the NDP 2011-12
Nycole Turmel filled in for Jack Layton while he took time off for cancer treatment and while the party had a seven-month leadership raace to replace Jack when he died.

Jack Layton - NDP Leader 2003 to 2011
In 2011, after eight years as NDP leader, Jack Layton led the party to Official Opposition status, capturing more than 100 seats, including most of the federal seats in Quebec.

Alexa McDonough - NDP Leader 1995-2003
Nova Scotian Alexa McDonough announced her decision to retire as federal NDP leader in June 2002. She stayed on as the member of parliament for Halifax and was re-elected in the 2004 general election.

Audrey McLaughlin - NDP Leader 1989-95
Profile of Audrey McLaughlin, federal NDP leader from 1989 to 1995 and the first woman to be leader of a national Canadian political party.

Ed Broadbent - NDP Leader 1975-89
Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada for 14 years, Ed Broadbent fought for an equitable tax system, equality for women, and ethics in government.

David Lewis - NDP Leader 1971-75
David Lewis, federal NDP leader from 1971 to 1975, campaigned against "corporate welfare bums" in the 1972 election, and the NDP held the balance of power in the resulting Liberal minority government.

Tommy Douglas - NDP Leader 1961-71
Considered the "father of medicare" in Canada, Tommy Douglas resigned as Premier of Saskatchewan to become the first leader of the New Democratic Party in 1961.

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