The Island New Democrats is a branch of the Canadian New Democratic Party on Prince Edward Island. It was founded by Aquinas Ryan, a school principal from Morell in Kings County. The first election the party contested, in 1974, they got 5.9% of the vote, but due to internal bickering, the party fell in the polls.
In the 1993 election, under the leadership of Larry Duschene, the party rose to 5.4% Dr Herb Dickieson took over as leader, and changed the name of the party from the PEI NDP, to the Island New Democrats. In the 1996 election, the party captured 7.8% of the vote, and elected Dr.Herb to the house. He was the first New Democrat to sit in the House on PEI. Dr.Herb was defeated in the 2000 election, despite the popular vote rising to 8.4%
The Island New Democrats did not do so well in the 2003 general election. Despite this, most polls showed that Gary Robichaud won all the debates. It is generally accpted that the party had a good campaign, but poor orginization, and it lost its base of support. The party captured only 3% of the provincial vote.
Since the election, Gary was diagnosed with cancer, and the leadership of the party is currently uncertain, though names have come up of possible replacements.