In two days time Ontario residents will cast their ballots to help select members of the 41st Legislature. This is the first provincial election that I have missed and I am unable to cast a ballot this time around. I fear that turnout will plummet again. I had a pet theory that it would spike upwards now that Dalton McGuinty was gone and no longer dragging down the Liberal Party. However the scandals he left in his wake has mired the Liberals and will be perhaps the reason Kathleen Wynne (OLP – Don Valley West) will be unable to keep her government by Friday.
From friends and family back home the picture of this election is very muddled. I am not confident that the polls have adequately captured the moment and that we are not on the verge of a major upset. More on that below.
I have appreciated this campaign far more than the hollow, policy-less fare Ontarians were served in 2011. There are substantial ideas and divergent visions for the province. Tim Hudak’s (PCPO – Niagara West-Glanbrook) vision for the future of Ontario is no doubt a huge motivator for those on the left seeking to stop it. On the other hand many Ontarians cannot stomach the idea of returning the Liberals to power after so much mismanagement.
I think Liberal voters will be less likely to turn out to the polls, and the Tories will be able to get their older, more committed voters to the poll. The ONDP will split the difference. Whatever number of New Democrats were turned off from the orange campaign will be replaced sufficiently by disaffected Liberals.
I hope my Ontario readers go out and vote, managing to find a candidate that best meets their values. I hope serious men and women are able to meet at Queen’s Park to do the people’s business and tackle the serious problems that dog that province, and most of all I hope citizens can find ways to reengage with their politics.
Liberals – 39 (-9)
Progressive Conservatives – 48 (+11)
New Democrats – 20 (-1)
Greens - 0
Other - 0
My prediction suggests we will see a PC minority in Ontario, but it is unlikely that Hudak will find a willing partner on the opposition benches. It’s possible we may see a repeat of the 1985 election where a Tory minority was replaced by a Liberal-NDP coalition, but both parties have denied that option. It Premier Wynne resigns upon a defeat of her government the Liberals may passively support the Tories until a new one is chosen, as we have seen at the federal level.
Below are some of the ideas of which seats I think will flip to a different party. Some of them may seem very unlikely, which is entirely possible. However recent elections should teach us that outcomes of elections can be very unpredictable.
OLP à PCPO - Ottawa South, Ottawa West-Nepean, Ottawa-Orleans, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Scarborough-Guildwood, Scarborough-Agincourt, Willowdale, York Centre, Etobicoke Centre, Brant, Kitchen Centre
OLP à ONDP - Windsor West
ONDP à OLP - Davenport, Trinity-Spadina