- After an exciting campaign with unprecedented twists, the Ontario PC Party led by Doug Ford has won a majority government for the first time in 19 years.
- With Doug Ford at the helm, the PC party won more than 75 of the 124 seats in the Ontario Legislature and over 40 per cent of the popular vote, giving them a clear mandate to govern*.
- The PCs carried the vote in the traditional PC strongholds of rural Ontario, swept most of the 905 and picked up a few key ridings in Toronto. They also split the southwest with the NDP.
- Ford and the PCs attracted several star candidates, returning veteran Tory caucus members and fresh faces to help secure the win.
- The win is a personal triumph for Premier-elect Doug Ford, who after the resignation of Patrick Brown and an 11th hour leadership campaign, had fewer than 90 days to kickstart and run a campaign.
- While many pundits wondered whether the PCs were once again headed for disappointment, Ford carried the day, successfully fighting all that the Liberals and NDP threw at him and his Progressive Conservative team.
- Ford successfully tapped into the frustrations of regular Ontarians who felt alienated from their government at Queen’s Park by building a diverse coalition of voters under the Ford Nation banner.
- Voters wanted more than just a change in leader, they wanted a change in the government’s direction.
- Andrea Horwath and the NDP enjoyed the thrill of early momentum with the taste of victory within reach at times, but ultimately, she fell short.
- The NDP won close to 40 seats, capturing 11 seats in Toronto, and several seats in the southwest and the North.
- Ford’s message ultimately broke through the media noise and resonated with voters. He stayed tightly on his message of a vision for an Ontario that respects the taxpayer and stands up for the average person, despite not taking the traditional route of releasing a fully-costed platform.
- At the time of publishing, the Liberals stood at seven seats, one below the threshold to retain official party status. They were devastated across the province, only holding onto pockets in Toronto, Thunder Bay and Ottawa.
- Winning fewer than 20 per cent of votes in the province, it was the worst performance ever by the Liberal Party, forcing an election-night resignation from the Premier as party leader, though she kept her own seat in Don Valley West.
- Mike Schreiner made history for the Green Party by winning his riding in Guelph, marking the first time the party has won a seat in any Ontario election.
- Voter turnout was over 57 per cent, about six percentage points higher than the last provincial election in 2014.
*All numbers published in this blog are as of midnight this evening. Updated results will be available in the morning as several ridings are too close to call. (Final confirmed results may take several more days, as recalls are certain in several ridings with extremely tight margins.)
- As Doug Ford and his team move into the Premier’s Office, his first order of business will be filling key positions in his office, appointing a Cabinet and issuing mandate letters for his new Ministers.
- Expect to see former leadership rivals Christine Elliott and Caroline Mulroney, new candidates like Rod Phillips and Stephen Lecce, and several returning caucus members including Vic Fedeli, Lisa McLeod, Jim Wilson, Todd Smith and Steve Clark, to form part of Ford’s Cabinet.
- In the first 100 days, we expect the PCs to use an upcoming Throne Speech – and perhaps a Budget – to set aspects of their winning platform into motion. This could even mean a surprise short summer session.
- With the summer upon us, look for Ford’s first priorities to include reducing gas prices and hydro bills.
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