I am very glad to have seen Thomas Mulcair win the election, but he did not get an overwhelming vote of support from the party membership. The actual turnout was only about 50% and a significant number of the ballots became exhausted.
On thing that happens in an preferential ballot is some of the ballots become exhausted. What this means is that someone people did not choose as many preferences as they could and they had no choices left by the last count.
There were 65,108 ballots in the first count but only 59,210 for the final ballot. This means 9% of the people voting did not express a preference for either Brian Topp or Thomas Mulcair.
Because members could choose to vote on Saturday, I can not be sure that the 9% fewer votes were all from exhausted ballots. On the other hand I do not know if there was an increase in online voters on the day after first ballot. 28% of the membership is from BC and the end of voting for the first ballot was VERY early on Saturday. Many BC members may have missed the first ballot. For simplicity, I am going to assume the 9% fewer final ballots are due to exhausted ballots.
On the third ballot there were 62,736 votes but the fourth only had 59.210. The 3526 fewer votes I assume are all exhausted Nathan Cullen ballots. This is 23% of his third ballot support.
The first ballot had 65,108 votes and the second ballot had 62,494. This means 2614 of the 12,441 cast for Ashton, Singh or Dewar had no second choice for any of the front runners. That is 21% of the support for the three bottom candidates that did not matter for the rest of the day.
At 33,881 votes on the final ballot, only 25% of the NDP membership actually voted for Thomas Mulcair. Of the people that did vote in the leadership race, less than 52% voted for Thomas Mulcair.