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New Democrat M-Ps could be without a permanent leader until after the federal election

Ontario deputy NDP leader Jagmeet Singh launches his bid for the federal NDP leadership in Brampton, Ont., on Monday, May 15, 2017. Federal NDP leadership hopefuls will make a critical pitch tonight to supporters in British Columbia ??? a province where party members are finding renewed hope after the swearing-in of NDP Premier John Horgan.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

New Democrat M-Ps could be without a permanent leader until after the federal election in 2019 if Ontario M-P-P Jagmeet Singh gets the job.

Singh tells The Canadian Press he’d prefer to forego seeking a Commons seat until the next election two years hence, opting instead to spend time reaching out to Canadians and visiting different parts of the country.

Such a move would be reminiscent of Jack Layton, who was crowned N-D-P leader in 2003, but did not seek a seat in the House of Commons until the federal election the following year.

Layton died of cancer not long after navigating a milestone 2011 election campaign.

Other candidates in the running to replace tom Mulcair are northern Ontario’s Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton from Manitoba and Quebec’s Guy Caron.