The Newfoundland New Democratic Party will hold its convention in St. John’s this long weekend and part of the proceedings will be a leadership vote.
Leader Lorraine Michael will find out how much support she has from the rank and file of the party.
Chances are very good that she will get solid backing from those who will be gathering in the capital.
When that happens, it will be personally rewarding for Michael who had to fend off an uprising by her caucus last year. The messy coup resulted in two of the MHAs leaving the NDP and joining the Liberals.
Dale Kirby and Christopher Mitchelmore were the most vocal of the caucus members demanding Michael give up the leadership because they felt the party had plateaued where support was concerned and they felt new leadership was critical to attracting more voters.
Without doubt, gaining support from party faithful at this weekend’s convention won’t solve Michael’s political problems.
The NDP gained solid support under Michael’s low-key leadership, but that has long since been squandered.
The New Democrats were flying high in the polls following the last general election but now they are back in their traditional distant third place in a series of recent polls.
It’s not surprising Michael didn’t take kindly to the attempt to push her out of the party leadership and she fought to stay.
This convention offers a chance for her to leave gracefully on her own terms for the good of the party she has given so much of her time and talent to.
A general election will be called in the next year or so and the party still has time to pick a new leader to try to improve the party’s diminished standing.
It would be an appropriate time for Michael to move aside.