When Dale Kirby and Christopher Mitchelmore left Newfoundland and Labrador's NDP caucus in late October, they made it clear they still considered themselves New Democrats.
However, there are indications that Kirby and Mitchelmore — who spoke out loudly against Lorraine Michael's leadership — will not be welcome in the party, including at a leadership meeting scheduled for May.
"NDP sources tell me there is a move afoot at the party executive level to strip Kirby and Mitchelmore of their party membership," reports On Point host David Cochrane.
Michael said she felt betrayed when the four members of caucus signed a letter calling for a leadership convention next year. St. John's East MHA George Murphy later said he was pressured into signing the letter, and had not read it closely, while St. John's Centre Gerry Rogers said she regretted having sent the letter to Michael without talking to her directly.
Kirby and Mitchelmore now sit in the house of assembly as Independents.
Cochrane said there is speculation that the Liberal caucus, which now has eight members following Sam Slide's victory on Tuesday night in the Carbonear-Harbour Grace byelection, could grow again, depending on whether the NDP executive expels Kirby and Mitchelmore.
"Should that happen," Cochrane said, "it could be the catalyst for the dissident MHAs to choose a new home."
The NDP has been having a rough fall. Last week, provincial party vice-president Geoff Gallant tendered his resignation, although he said his is leaving the post on good terms.
Gallant, who is also deputy mayor of Torbay, said he wants to focus on his career and municipal politics.