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Thomas Mulcair wins final vote to become leader of the NDP

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2.00 p.m. EST -- Voting extended to a 3rd ballot at the NDP leadership convention, with three candidates remaining, led by Montreal MP Thomas Mulcair. 

1:53 p.m. EST -- Thomas Mulcair maintains lead after second round of NDP leadership voting while Brian Topp in second.

Mulcair: 23,902.

Topp: 15,624.

Cullen: 12,449.

Nash: 10,519 

1:45 p.m. EST - Second ballot results expected in 15 minutes. 

1:30 p.m. EST - NDP members and candidates will know who is going on to the next round of voting just before 2:00 p.m., said convention organizers.

Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent has endorsed Brian Topp

Supporters of Thomas Mulcair, Brian Topp, Nathan Cullen and Peggy Nash have been stalking the hallways and convention floor trying to convince supporters of the three defeated candidates to switch to theirs.

"I'm supporting Nathan," said Vancouver resident Paige Kezima. Up until this morning Kezima was in Niki Ashton's camp, but when Ashton dropped out Kezima had to decide whom to vote for next. She said she supports Cullen because he isn't afraid to talk about new ideas.

"We need someone that isn't going to be completely bound by strict party lines and is willing to talk and have a dialogue with people," Kezima said. "That's the kind of democracy I believe in."

Cullen, the only candidate from B.C. is best placed to gain support for the NDP in the West, Cole said.

There's a lot at stake in this vote, said Brian Topp supporter Jim Britton.

Britton is the western region vice president for the communication, energy and paper workers union. Topp has the same values as his union, so they decided to support him, Britton said.

Jocelyn Garon stood outside the convention hall proudly holding a Mulcair sign. The Nova Scotia resident said he wasn't surprised Mulcair won the first ballot.

"I think the second ballot is going to go our way," he said. But whatever happens, said Garon, the party will re-unite tonight after the convention is over. "Once we get a strong leader everybody's going to get behind him and we're going to do good," he said. "Harper is out next election."

 

10:10 a.m. EST -- Thomas Mulcair has won the first round of voting with almost 4,000 more votes than second-place candidate Brian Topp.

Mulcair's camp exploded with cheers as it was announced the Montreal MP had taken 30 per cent of the first vote.

"I did not expect these numbers. These are awesome numbers! Fantastic numbers!" shouted one Mulcair supporter, his face shining with sweat.

B.C. MP Nathan Cullen took third with 16 per cent. Considered an underdog, his placing drew screams of elation from his supporters.

Peggy Nash placed fourth, Paul Dewar fifth, Martin Singh sixth and Niki Ashton seventh.

Ashton's camp looked crestfallen as their candidate told TV reporters she wasn't disappointed with the results. 

Ashton, Singh and Dewar have dropped out, leaving four candidates to compete in the next round of voting, which starts at 10:30 a.m.

Influential NDP MP Charlie Angus, a Dewar supporter, has endorsed Mulcair.

The results in full:

Mulcair: 19,728 votes

Topp: 13,915 votes

Cullen: 10,671 votes

Nash: 8,353 votes

Dewar: 4,883 votes

Singh: 3,821 votes

Ashton: 3,737 votes

9:55 a.m. EST -- They were loud yesterday, but they're bringing it to a whole new level today.

Supporters of the seven candidates vying to be the NDP's new leader haven't stopped chanting since they came in. Excitement has turned into a nervous almost-hysteria. 

In five minutes the results from the first round of voting will be announced. We will see who goes on, and who drops out, bringing Canada one step closer to a new leader of the Official Opposition.

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