Ontario Progressive Conservatives to form second majority government


TORONTO — Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives sailed toward a second majority government on Thursday, buoyed by a electorate unenthusiastic about change, and a campaign that was decidedly safer and less flashy than when he burst onto the political scene. Ontario

TORONTO — Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives navigated a second majority government on Thursday, buoyed by a electorate unenthusiastic about change, and a campaign decidedly safer and less flashy than when he burst onto the political scene. Ontario four years ago.

This campaign lacked the pizzazz and pizzazz of 2018, with buck-a-beer promises swapped for more staid infrastructure plans.

Promises of new highways and hospitals were at the center of Ford’s ‘do it’ rhetoric, seeking to turn the page on the pandemic by strengthening the economy, although its budget-turned-platform contained little else in terms of new promises for the next four years.

But a firm hand on the tiller may have been what voters were looking for just as the province hopefully emerges on the other side of the pandemic, in which everyone’s lives have been turned upside down for two year.

Wayne Petrozzi, a professor of politics at Metropolitan University of Toronto, said the public was traumatized by the COVID-19 closures and deadly outbreaks in nursing homes and didn’t want to see them again, which corresponds to the priority of PCs to “change channel”.

“They were able to actually run a campaign where they never had to stop and explain what happened,” he said.

Opposition parties have largely failed to get the public to look closely at the Conservative government’s record, Petrozzi said.

“Their job as opposition parties in the elections was to convince the electorate, even if they had to kick them and shout them back, in this period, in what happened,” he said. -he declares. “I don’t think they did that very well. They didn’t do much at all.”

The Progressive Conservatives were elected or led in 80 of the province’s 124 ridings about an hour after most polls closed, well past the 63 required for a majority and ahead of the 76 they have won last time.

Voters hoping to avoid another Progressive Conservative government did not rally with the NDP or the Liberals to produce a perceived Ford opponent.

Polls at the start of the campaign told much the same story as at the end, with the two parties vying for a few percentage points here and there, away from the Progressive Conservatives.

The NDP was on course to form the Official Opposition again, leading or elected in 29 seats, the second-most, although far behind the Progressive Conservatives and well behind their 2018 result.

In this election, the party almost doubled its number of seats, winning 40 seats. Among the NDP’s main losses to the Conservatives were Timmins, an area Gilles Bisson has represented since 1990, the three ridings of Brampton it won last time out, and the southern ridings of Essex and Windsor-Tecumseh.

The Progressive Conservatives went to great lengths to woo blue-collar voters, passing several major labor laws and gaining the endorsement of several skilled trades unions. He also secured major investments in the automotive sector, including a $5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor.

This could be the last NDP election of Andrea Horwath, who is running for premier for the fourth time.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca lost his own riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge, but he has vowed to move forward regardless of the outcome there.

Del Duca was chosen in March 2020 as the new leader of a party seeking to rebuild itself after being reduced in 2018 from a majority government to just seven seats, not enough for official party status.

The Liberals were elected or led in nine seats in the preliminary results, still short of the 12 required for official party status in the legislature. They managed to retake Beaches-East York and Kingston and the Islands from the NDP, but did not win back former Liberal ridings like Ottawa Center or Toronto Center.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner won re-election in Guelph, but the Greens did not win Parry Sound-Muskoka as they had hoped.

Independent candidate Bobbi Ann Brady was elected in Haldimand-Norfolk, an area which Toby Barrett has represented for the Progressive Conservatives since 1995. He did not run this time.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 2, 2022.

Allison Jones and Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press


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