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State of the Ontario Election Campaign

With around 2 weeks to go, Ontario voters are beginning to look more carefully and thinking a lot harder about whether they really want a Doug Ford led provincial government.  Some hard questions are now being asked about the promises Doug Ford has made and whether they actually will save Ontario  money (the answer appears to be no). Ford and the PCPO  also have some controversies popping up that have caught people’s attention.

That has led to some polls that shows the NDP and Andrea Horwath are suddenly being looked to as the  alternate “agents of change” in this election. It appears that progressive voters who are upset with the Liberals after 15 years in power and moderates who normally vote PCPO but are rather turned off by a Doug Ford led party are switching to the Ontario NDP, if these polls are an accurate barometer. We will of course have to see if other polls detect this trend or not.

Unfortunately for the Ontario Liberal Party,  their support is suffering as a result. They appear mired in the low 20’s in multiple polls, and the optics of Premier Wynne visiting and re-visiting ridings where the Liberals won by double digits in the last election (supposedly “safe” Liberal seats),  gives the perception the OLP is in survival mode of trying to keep their core seats.   I honestly believe that Wynne has suffered from the baggage of being in power for 15 years. If the government under her tenure had accomplished all that it – and she – did in its first term, rather then heading into its 15th year in power, she would probably be winning this election easily – even with the Hydro One decision being as unpopular as it was/is. I have a lot of political friends who are activists in the OLP who are doing their best to try and turn things around, but barring a major turn-around, the tide of change  appears to be too strong.

As it stands, the last Ontario Leaders Debate in the next week becomes unexpectedly crucial. Look for Horwath to be under double attacks from Ford (to try and get back his party’s flagging momentum) and Wynne (to try and stop progressives and soft Liberal voters bleeding any further to the NDP).  Look for attacks on NDP candidates and costing issues.

If Horwath can weather that storm (and she is able to effectively counter those attacks) that might be the clincher for her and the NDP.

(May I also state that if Christine Elliot or even Caroline Mulroney were PCPO leader right now. .they’d be winning this election in a walk)

 

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