By the end of 2003 the party was polling higher than both the Canadian Alliance or the Progressive Conservatives and it was even suggested that the next election could see the NDP in place as official opposition. Much of his rhetoric involved attacking the policies of then Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin as conservative and arguing the ideology of the Liberal Party of Canada had shifted in a more right wing direction. On May 5 2011 it was announced that no charges would be laid with regards to the leaked information.
Layton died on August 22 2011 aged 61 after suffering from an undisclosed type of cancer. In 2003 he was elected leader of the federal NDP on the first ballot of the convention. He was the Member of Parliament for Toronto—Danforth from 2004 until his death.