Lorraine Michael survives leadership review

James McLeod
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New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael received a vote of confidence for her party Saturday afternoon with 75 per cent of party delegates voting to keep her as leader.

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

Michael's leadership was called into question by members of her caucus last October amid a messy, public caucus revolt.

In a speech delivered to delegates a few hours before voting, Michael took some responsibility for the bitter infighting, which ultimately resulted in two MHAs leaving the party and joining the Liberals.

“Did we make mistakes? Yes. Maybe the most serious was underestimating how hard the path to government really is, and the different dynamics that get put in play as stakes become higher,” Michael told delegates. “Did I make mistakes? Yes. Maybe the most serious was not to hear concerns in the caucus and the party on how to move forward. I missed the trees for the forest.”

This year's convention is smaller than the last one, held in 2012. Two years ago, 165 people showed up the NDP gathering; on Saturday afternoon, 125 people in the room at the Holiday Inn cast ballots.

In the morning, before the leadership vote, members voted to add a leadership review for every NDP convention in the future.

After lunch, New Democrats voted on the question, “Vote no if you don't want a leadership convention, vote yes if you do want a leadership convention.”

The voting process was marked by more than 30 minutes of confusion, with many questions from New Democrats about how to fill out the ballot, and what the consequences would be depending on how they voted.

At least one delegate was under the impression that if Michael was dumped as leader, the party would revert to a leadership selection convention later the same afternoon.

After the vote, Michael told reporters that she feels that 75 per cent is a solid endorsement, and it should put the whole unpleasant episode behind her.

Michael said she believes it's a clear message from the party rank and file that they want to move forward, and she's interested in preparing for the next general election.

Michael said her goal is to have an NDP candidate in each of the province's 48 districts next year for the general election.


Organizations: NDP, Holiday Inn

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Recent comments

  • Laughable
    May 19, 2014 - 07:28

    Wayne I hope your wrong on that one, Because if the liberals form the next Government under Dwight Ball, we the people will really get understanding what hardtimes are all about. Please just listen to Dwight, then you will know EXACTLY what I'm saying, As of now Dwight is very lucky, because all the B/S is hitting Mr Coleman, and now Cathy Bennett, Wait till the people find out, what going on behind close doors, concerning this other person. I hope this will happen before the next election. just saying

  • wayne folkes
    May 19, 2014 - 04:40

    I believe the tide has turned the next election will see a liberal majority such as the danny Williams sweep the ndp will be wiped out unless they get some high profile people to run

  • Blighter
    May 18, 2014 - 18:40

    The only colour there more than orange was grey in the hair of the old delegates. Not a young person to be seen! By keeping on with Michael at the helm,the NDP have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory,content to be the third place third rate party of St.John's snooty intellectuals;enjoy your irrelevance!Galling to be the losers to hollow men like Ball and Coleman!

  • GeoffChaulk
    May 18, 2014 - 07:59

    Well done Lorraine! You are one strong woman.

  • simply amazing
    May 17, 2014 - 18:55

    The results of this vote is simply terrifying. This party can't survive under Lorraine's leadership. What is it they don't understand

  • Saskie
    May 17, 2014 - 17:48

    So 89 people get to select a potential premier. Lucky for Newfoundland the NDP and her will not govern.

  • Morris
    May 17, 2014 - 17:32

    A victory for; a St. John's political party, status quo, failure to acknowledge very poor performance in all byelections, loss of nearly 50% of their elected MHA'S, . Ms Michael you fall short in every possible category of effectiveness! No wonder the convention was held on a holiday weekend !

  • Pierre Neary
    May 17, 2014 - 15:13

    The NDP have just sealed thier fate.