EDIT: This post has been updated since this morning due to the withdrawal of Robert Chisholm from the race today.
It's Wednesday, so that means it is time to update the NDP leadership endorsement rankings. It's been a quiet week on the endorsement front. Only two new endorsements have been added to the system, and one of them just went unnoticed last week.
But the withdrawal of Robert Chisholm from the race brings the list of candidates down to eight. It also means that everyone has gained in the share of points, as Chisholm's 27.4 points are now taken off the table.
Paul Dewar is this week's big winner after landing the support of the Manitoba Federation of Labour. Not only did Dewar get the support of the current president of the MFL, he received the support of the three preceding presidents.
The union numbers some 90,000 members (almost as many as the NDP itself!) and so this gives Dewar a gain of 5.4 points. He now has a total of 23.4 points and ranks fourth behind Peggy Nash. He has moved ahead of Niki Ashton, and I imagine quite definitively - at least for now. He and her have been swapping places for months.
Dewar now has 5.1% of all available endorsement points.
Thomas Mulcair has also gotten a small boost in the endorsement rankings. The support of Newfoundland and Labrador MHA Dale Kirby has been added to the system, but this means a gain of only 0.25 points (or, rounded up, 0.3).
Mulcair is now at 114.3 total points, 73.7 behind Brian Topp and 18.9 points ahead of Peggy Nash.
(Click here to learn more about the endorsement system and here for how the points are awarded.)
It is good to see Paul Dewar picking up some endorsements because I think the points system is under-estimating his support within the party. He has mentioned that he will be announcing new endorsements in the new year, as I imagine other candidates will be doing. But hopefully that will push Dewar up into the top tier of Mulcair, Topp, and Nash, where I think he belongs.
He is now, at least, in actual fourth place with the withdrawal of Chisholm. If Chisholm decides to endorse someone, I will assign half of those points to the person he chooses to endorse. If any of the people who endorsed Chisholm take their support to another person, the half-points will be removed from the person receiving Chisholm's support.
That means that Robert Chisholm alone is a big fish - worth 13.7 points until any of the people who have endorsed him go elsewhere. Darrell Dexter and Howard Hampton, worth 10 and 5 points, respectively, would also be good people to land if they are willing to hand their support out to another candidate. Another 4.5 points are available from the NDP members of the Nova Scotia legislature who lent their support to Chisholm.
The race has gotten a little more interesting, an undoubtedly the front benches of the Opposition will be happy to have an experienced person like Chisholm back in the House asking questions.