Who Will Run for Leader of the Ontario NDP?
Here are the odds…
(2 to 1) Peter Tabuns. In actual fact, his leadership campaign started months ago. This former Greenpeace bigwig brings green credentials to the NDP and much of the Layton machine in Toronto Danforth will be supporting this charismatically-challenged MPP.
(3 to 1) Joe Comartin. This Windsor area MP was first elected in 2000 and finished with a disappointing result in the 2003 Federal NDP leadership race that crowned Jack Layton. Comartin clearly has leadership aspirations and will likely appeal to those who think the party needs someone from outside Queen’s Park to lead the team. The fact that he is from an area that is dominated by the Liberals provincially will make him an appealing candidate in a party with a tiny caucus with members who are not interested in stepping aside for a new leader.
(4 to 1) Micheal Prue. Prue has been rumoured to be interested in the job for some time, but it’s not clear which camps in the party he can appeal to and how he can differentiate himself from the other candidates. In a field of relative newcomers, he could argue that he is the most experienced, having served both provincially and municipally for many years, but that argument is unlikely to get him that far.
(4 to 1) Andrea Horwath. Elected in a 2004 by-election and re-elected in 2007, Horwath is still relatively unknown at Queen’s Park. However, the Hamilton area MPP’s name keeps popping up in leadership discussions. She is the most likely woman to run for the job.
(5 to 1) Cheri DiNovo. She seems like the perfect candidate. Urban, articulate, female, a fighter who overcame a smear campaign to beat the Liberals and what was considered a safe Liberal seat. She is relatively new, but has impressed many folks in and around Queen’s Park. Problem is, there is no evidence that she is actually interested in the leader’s job. She is more likely to endorse Tabuns than run herself.
(7 to 1) Peggy Nash. If this rookie Federal MP loses her Parkdale-High park seat to Gerard Kennedy in a federal election that takes place well in advance of the March 2009 Ontario NDP convention, she could conceivably run for ONDP leader as a consolation prize. She would have a great shot and lots of support, but this scenario is very unlikely.
(8 to 1) Marilyn Churley. This former MPP was no fan of Hampton. That’s why she left to take a stab at federal politics. She is still trying to break through as the current Federal NDP candidate in Beaches East-York. Besides, if she did win the Ontario NDP leadership, she’d have to ask potential leadership rivals Prue or Tabuns to step aside for her – an unlikely scenario. If a credible woman runs for the leadership of the Ontario NDP, expect Churley to endorse her.
(10 to 1) Peter Kormos. He ran for the leadership in 1996 and finished third, but his star has been rising in the party ever since. That said, Kormos has always maintained that the Ontario NDP needs to move beyond the Rae years and everybody associated with it. For better or for worse, Kormos was a controversial figure in the party during those years. Look for Kormos to be appointed interim leader sometime between now and the convention in March 2009 (especially if a credible left-wing candidate fails to emerge).
(50 to 1) Frances Lankin. This former MPP and current head of the Toronto United Way finished second to Howie in 1996. She was supposed to win. Will she answer the calls of the many New Democrats who are telling her that they won’t make the same mistake twice? Probably not.
(100 to 1) David Miller. The Mayor of Toronto is now a former New Democrat. However, re-joining the party would instantly make him the front-runner in this race. But why would he give up City Hall to be the leader of a third party rump at Queen’s Park.