Thursday night, Ontario voters took to the polls to elect a new Provincial legislature. To the surprise of many, Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal party emerged victorious with a strong majority at Queens Park. While Wynne had frequently topped the polls during the 40-day campaign, few had predicted that any party would form a majority government.
Despite a campaign marred by scandal and controversy, the Liberals overcame the adversity and dominated ridings across the province. Wynne fared particularly well in the GTA where they won several key ridings in the city center. Check out this interactive map to view results from ridings across the province.
The results from the election were seemingly more of a rejection of Hudak’s policies, rather than an affirmation of the Liberal platform. Hudak and the PCs took a major step backwards, as they lost 10 seats and may have suffered a larger, ideological defeat. This election was considered ‘Hudak’s to lose.’, and he did. Shortly after the election, Mr. Hudak resigned as head of the Progressive Conservatives.
Ontario voters questioned the mathematics concerning Hudak’s austerity plans, and his million jobs plan did not get the millions of votes he had hoped for. The PCs will have to go back to the drawing board with a new candidate next time.
For the NDP, the results were bitter sweet. While they picked up four seats and gained ground on the PCs, they lost their balance of power in the legislature, and will now have to take a backseat to a Majority Liberal Government.
Not everybody was pleased with the Liberal party’s victory; recently, Blackrock released a “high alert” for an Ontario Debt Downgrade, signaling their impression of Kathleen Wynne’s fiscal management abilities and plans.
The results of Thursday’s elections represent a number of things: the fourth Liberal win, and second majority, over the last 4 elections; the first female Premier to be elected in Ontario, and the first openly gay minister in the English-speaking world; however, it also represents the failure of Hudak to connect with voters. The Liberal vote, on a gross basis, stayed relatively stagnant since the last election, while the PCs lost a considerable amount of votes to the NDP. It would seem that Hudak was the wrong man for the job in the eyes of voters, which drove typically PC voters to prefer the status quo to his leadership. With a resounding victory and majority government, for better or worse, the Liberals now have the attention of Ontarions, and it will be interesting to see what they do with it.