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Jagmeet Singh–known for his colourful turbans and graciously dealing with this racist heckler–just made history by becoming the first member of a visible minority to lead a major political party in Canada. On Sunday, Singh won NDP leadership with 53.8 percent of the vote, replacing outgoing leader Tom Mulcair. Many are viewing this as a revamp for the NDP that could make them a real contender for government leadership in the 2019 federal election.

The 38-year-old Ontario MPP and lawyer is also the youngest leader in NDP history. Like when Justin Trudeau won Liberal leadership, Singh has that easy ‘coolness’ that people–especially young people–are attracted to in a leader. Former national director of the NDP Karl Belanger explained Singh’s popularity on Your Morning.

‘This is the guy that when he walks in the room, people want to get their pictures taken with him, they want to touch him, they want to talk to him,’ he said, ‘You could see it along the campaign. He was able to generate the buzz wherever he was going. And that’s the kind of royal jelly that [party] members are sometimes looking for when they’re looking to elect a new leader.’

In his victory speech, Singh announced that he will be taking on fellow federal party leaders Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer for Prime Minister in 2019. He’s certainly got a lot of work ahead if he wants to bring the NDP back from the third-party status they fell to after the last election. Singh has two years to reunite the party and establish himself across the country as a viable option for leader. That won’t be his only challenge though.

During his campaign for leader, an issue that came to light was that of support in Quebec. Though the numbers haven’t been crunched to prove it, there has been speculation–particularly from Bloc Québécois Leader Martine Ouellet–that Jagmeet Singh’s religion and the outward manifestation of it might hurt him in the province. It is possible that this concern is completely unfounded, but it looks like Singh may need to put extra effort into campaigning in Quebec.

Tom Mulcair has also raised concerns about the fact that Singh does not hold a seat in the House of Commons, and he does not intend to run for one before the federal election (to focus on the party and 2019). Mulcair said even before Singh’s win that he thought a party leader should be in the HoC. Instead of representing his party in the House himself, Singh will have to appoint another NDP MP to do it for him.

So while Singh’s win is historic for diversity and representation in Canada, there is a lot of work to do before he leads the NDP to forming the federal government. Looks like Canada might have a pretty interesting 2019 ahead.

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