The "street fighter" had won over the dour backroom operative. Topp had been the choice of the party elites, including former leader Ed Broadbent, but from the early days of this long, drawn out campaign , he failed to fire and it caused panic, so much so that there was the feeling of "anybody but Mulcair". The other candidates had their regional backing (the members that they had signed up), but little else. The fact that this was a leadership race that will be decided by members at large, there would be no possibility of mounting a reaguard action to stop Mulcair on the convention floor. There was no room to maneuver, to make deals ( for example Joe Clarke had made a deal with Flora MacDonald in 1979, (two Red Tories), that whoever finished ahead of the other will go through and the other will drop off and endorse . Clarke had just a few more votes than Flora and so he continued and with other deals with Crombie, Crosbie and Wilson, stopped Mulroney and became leader of the Conservatives.( Mulroney would get his revenge five years later.) That was a convention filled with tension, drama and horse-trading, everything that this one lacked (no wonder the TV anchors were complaining of boredom) I remember at an NDP delegate- convention, one candidate, Simon de Jong, pleading with his mother to tell him who to give his delegates to.
The ennui must have gotten to Mulcair, because when he was called upon to give his victory speech, it fell flat. He had an opportunity to rouse the convention and to connect to the TV audience but all he could muster was some jumbled words and the moment was lost. Thomas who?