Mr. Topp has support throughout the country. He was born and raised in Quebec, arrived in Ottawa in 1989 as an assistant to former Quebec New Democrat MP Phil Edmonston, then moved to Saskatchewan to work for former premier Roy Romanow. Widely regarded as a moderate, he has union ties through his tenure as executive director of ACTRA and could possibly pull together the same kind of coalition as Mr. Layton.
There are other hopefuls who will be able to garner small pockets of support. But, for the moment, no one would seem to have the momentum of Mr. Mulcair or Mr. Topp.