The NDP is the successor party to the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). The Newfoundland CCF was founded in 1955 when Sam Drover, a member of the Newfoundland House of Assembly for White Bay (Trinity North) who left the Liberals to sit as a member of the CCF.

Drover became leader of the new provincial party

Which fielded ten candidates, mostly in rural districts, in the 1956 provincial election. The party failed to win any seats: Drover lost his own riding, winning 237 votes to the Liberal candidate’s 1,437.

The CCF did not run in the 1959 election

but supported the Newfoundland Democratic Party. This party, led by Ed Finn, Jr. and Calvin Normore, had been organized by the Newfoundland Federation of Labour with the support of the Canadian Labour Congress, to protest the Smallwood government’s de-certification of the International Woodworkers of America in the course of a logging strike. The Newfoundland Democratic Party ran 18 candidates, none of whom was elected.

In 1961, the federal New Democratic Party of Canada was founded

in with the merger of the federal CCF and the Canadian Labour Congress. The Newfoundland Democratic Party followed suit becoming the Newfoundland New Democratic Party with Finn leading the NDP into the 1962 provincial election.

The New Democratic Party won its first seat in the House of Assembly in 1984 when leader Peter Fenwick was elected in a by-election for the district of Labrador West.

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