Both Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park) and Robert Chisholm (Dartmouth-Cole Harbour) have announced their intentions to enter into the increasingly crowded NDP leadership race, with Chisholm's announcement coming up this Sunday, and Nash's will be today (today being Friday).
I look at both candidates and wonder what their bases of support will actually end up being. And I gotta tell ya, it's hard.
Nash, a former union negotiator and the party's Finance Critic, is not in any way particularly impressive as a candidate, and probably shares a similar field to Dewar. I can't see anything outside of those union connections for her to build on. However, even those connections may not matter much if the unions see Brian Topp as the standard bearer in the race - as United Steelworkers already has. One could say that the women's vote might coalesce around Nash, but in a party where all major candidates support progressive attitudes towards women, it probably won't matter much (think Martha Hall Findlay).
Chisholm is a somewhat experienced hand, at least provincially, and has proven he can lead. He'll likely mop up the support of the NS NDP and Premier Darrell Dexter (his successor as NDP leader), and may or may not gain the support of the other Atlantic Dippers, minus the official groups in New Brunswick (as NB NDP leader Dominic Cardy supports Mulcair, and Acadie-Bathurst MP Yvon Godin supports Topp). Other than that, Chisholm's appeal is narrow and regionalized, appearing more like a Scott Brison regional candidate who, if all the other options really sucked, you could see yourself voting for, but in the end never will.
All this means is that Mulcair and Topp are the two likely frontrunners. I would not hedge any bets on Nash or Chisholm, and the same goes for Cullen and Saganash, as well as the utterly irrelevant Singh. Dynamics can and probably will change, but right now I see Mulcair-Topp with a Dewar spoiler as the likely climate right now and for the immediate future.