The NDP Leadership race is in the home stretch.

And with just over a couple weeks left before the first round of voting begins, Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus and his campaign team are “keeping (their) eye on the prize.”

And it seems more Canadians in a while have their eyes on the race too.

The NDP tripled their membership numbers over the course of the race, going from around 41,000 at the end of March to more than 124,000 to date. August 17th was the cutoff date to join the party and be eligible to vote for the new leader.

The overall figure represents a big boost for the party. Angus says the race has generated a lot of interest, and the numbers are a positive for the party overall.

“For our campaign, we’re feeling really good looking at these numbers,” he told Rogers Media Wednesday morning, “We put feet on the ground in every part of the country, and our game plan is to make sure we pull that vote once the voting starts.”

Much of the focus of late was in Quebec. And no wonder, they held a French-language debate in Montreal this past Sunday. Angus says he received a lot of strong support there.

“It went very very well,” he said of the debate, “We’re feeling good about (the support from the Quebec membership).”

Next week, Angus will be traveling out west to Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Vancouver will be the site for the final leadership debate, slated for September 10th.

He says throughout, they’ve really stuck to a “coherent” game plan based on “building (support) on the ground, putting teams on the ground and making sure…once the voting starts, that we’re getting our voters out.”

An all-candidates showcase will run from Hamilton on the 17th, featuring final speeches from the four candidates.

On the 18th of September, first-ballot voting begins via mail or online with results to be revealed October 1st.

It is a ranked ballot system, and it takes 50 per cent of the votes cast plus one to be elected leader. If the first round doesn’t determine a winner, there are two more rounds.

Each round, the last place candidate will be knocked out. With four candidates, only three rounds are necessary.

Second ballot voting will end October 8th and third ballot voting ends October 15th.

“A lot of this is going to come down to second ballot, maybe even third ballot support,” Angus says, “So I’m making sure that our team has got open doors, that we’re welcoming people in because we’re keeping our eye on the prize.”

If you want to learn more about the rules in the NDP Leadership race, CLICK HERE.

Filed under: Charlie Angus, Local News, NDP Leadership