Toronto city councillor Jack Layton became party leader on the first ballot of a leadership contest. He finally won a seat in Parliament in 2004 (on the third try) and helped increase the percentage of popular vote to the highest levels in a decade. They won 19 seats that year.
The party suffered its worst showing with only 9 seats. McLauglin was replaced by Nova Scotia MP Alexa McDonough in 1995. Not all the problems were blamed on McLaughlin so much as unpopular provincial governments and the rise of the left of centre Bloc Quebecois.
After leading in some opinion polls through 1987, the party won a historic number of seats, 43 in the general election. There had been a sense that the NDP might become the official opposition but that failed to materialize. Broadbent stepped down in 1989 to be replaced by the first woman to lead a national party, Audrey McLaughlin.
After David Lewis failed to keep his seat in the general election of 1974, he resigned. Ed Broadbent from Ontario became the first party leader who was not from the older CCF generation. He was 39 when he won the leadership contest.
The New Democratic Party was formed by the merger of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, New Party clubs and unions affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress. The first leader was former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas. The party was founded as a social democratic party with membership in the Socialist International.