New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island
|New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island|
Active provincial party
|Founded||25 November 1961|
|Headquarters||81 Prince Street,
|National affiliation||New Democratic Party|
|Seats in Legislature|
|Politics of Prince Edward Island
The New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island (NDP PEI) is a social-democratic political party in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, and a branch of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP).
The NDP's predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), began in 1936 when a CCF club was founded in the Bedeque region during a visit by CCF MP Ted Garland. The CCF did not run candidates on the island, however, until 1943 when the national party made a concerted effort to rally the party by sending an organizer to tour the province recruiting several candidates to run in the 1943 provincial election. Later that year a founding convention was held with York South MP Joseph Noseworthy as guest speaker. Irving Toombs was elected president and Douglas MacFarlane provincial secretary.
The CCF ran candidates on the island in the 1945 federal election, the first time the CCF contested Island seats in a federal election, and again in a provincial by-election in December. In the 1947 provincial election, the CCF contested 16 seats. The party only contested five seats in the 1951 election, however, due to bad road conditions and high deposits. One of the CCF's candidates was Hilda Ramsay running in 3rd Prince in 1951, the first woman ever to run in a PEI provincial election.
The NDP PEI was founded at a convention in Charlottetown on 25 November 1961, three months after the founding of the New Democratic Party of Canada. Federal leader Tommy Douglas addressed the meeting and Ian Webster was elected provincial president and Lorne Perry vice president. The NDP went on to stand a full slate of four candidates in PEI during the 1962 federal election and, thereafter, ran full slates on the island during federal elections.
The 1968 federal election saw Charlottetown teacher David Hall in Hillsborough make the party's strongest showing. He was subsequently chosen as the PEI NDP's first provincial leader. The party contested three provincial by-elections in 1972, its first attempt at provincial seats since the CCF days, and received 5.2 per cent of the total vote. Aquinas Ryan, a school principal from Morell in Kings County, led the party into the 1974 provincial general election and got 5.9% of the vote, but due to internal bickering, the party fell in the polls.
1993 to 2007
In the 1993 election, under the leadership of Larry Duchesne, the party share of the popular vote rose to 5.4%. Dr. Herb Dickieson took over as leader, and changed the name of the party from the PEI NDP, to the "Island New Democrats". In the 1996 election, the party captured 7.8% of the vote, and Dr. Dickieson was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island for the riding of West Point-Bloomfield. He was the first member of a third party to ever win a seat to the PEI House of Assembly. Dr. Dickieson narrowly lost his seat in the 2000 election despite the party's overall popular vote rising to 8.4%.
During the 2003 provincial election the party lacked funds and were poorly organized. The party lost its base of support, only capturing 3% of the popular vote. Some within the party credit this to the return to the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island of many voters who left the party following the Liberal provincial government's decision to reduce wages of all public employees by 7.5% in the early 1990s. The budget for the 2003 election was estimated to be around $30,000, compared to nearly $1 million for each of the other parties.
Robichaud resigned as leader on 23 June 2005 for health reasons after battling inoperable lung cancer for two years and died shortly afterward. He was replaced in 2006 by Dean Constable, a theatre stage manager for the Charlottetown Festival.
The party performed poorly in the 2007 election, finishing behind the Green Party of Prince Edward Island with just 1.96% of the total vote or 3.48% in contested ridings. They finished fourth behind the Liberal, Progressive Conservative and Green parties. Dean Constable announced his resignation as leader on August 26, 2007. The party announced it would appoint an interim leader at or before its annual general meeting in November 2007, and hold a leadership convention in April 2008.
James Rodd took the job of interim leader after Dean Constable's resignation, and was elected leader on a permanent basis on 4 April 2009. He led the party into the 2011 election, where the party ran 14 candidates and was soundly defeated with 3.16% of the total vote or 5.84% in contested ridings. On February 8, 2012 Rodd announced that he would resign as leader, initiating the party's most recent leadership convention to date.
On 13 October 2012, the NDP elected Michael Redmond as the new leader by a vote of 152 to 28 against party activist Trevor Leclerc. Under Redmond's leadership, in March 2013 the party placed second in a provincial public opinion poll, ahead of the Prince Edward Island Progressive Conservative Party, for the first time in its history.
- David Hall, 1972
- Aquinas Ryan, 1972–77
- Doreen Sark, acting leader 1979-81
- Douglas Murray, 1981–82
- David Burke, interim leader 1982-83
- Jim Mayne, 1983–89
- Dolores Crane, party spokesperson and acting leader 1989-91
- Larry Duchesne, 1991–95
- Herb Dickieson, 1995-2002
- Gary Robichaud, 2002–05
- vacant, 2005-2006
- Dean Constable, 2006–07
- James Rodd, 2007–09 (interim), 2009–12
- Michael Redmond, 2012–present
NDP members of the PEI Legislative Assembly
There are currently no New Democrats in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island. In the past, one individual has been elected as a New Democrat, and they are as follows:
|Year of election||Candidates nominated||# of votes||% of popular vote|