The New Democratic Party's leadership race is over. The membership have spoken and elected Thomas Mulcair as the next leader. Mulcair's main challenge is to defeat Stephen Harper in the next election and position the NDP to form a new government. He must build on the NDP's 2011 electoral success by holding on to Quebec and expanding support in the rest of Canada.
Mulcair brings a number of strengths to Stornaway and Parliament Hill:
There are also a number of concerns in the progressive movement about some of Mulcair's policy positions and leadership style. Many of these criticisms were in the form of "sound-bites" which will stick unless he's able to pro-actively address them head on and expand his base. Issues of leadership style will be quickly demonstrated by the ways in which Mulcair builds his team and communicates with the party's rank and file.
On policy, Mulcair can use his "honeymoon" to exchange views on these differences (or perceived differences) and to seek common ground with natural NDP allies who, as he said in his victory speech, are so important to the 2015 formula for success.