Liberal leader Steven De Luca and NDP Andrea Horwath resigned after another failed election to take control of Queen’s Park
With a decisive and crushing landslide victory for Doug Ford’s Conservative, Ontarians have spoken. Four more years of his government are not only what Ontarians want; it is what they need.
Liberal leader Steven De Luca and NDP leader Andrea Horwath failed to get their message across to voters about why their party should occupy Queen’s Park. Both parties’ lack of inspiration and clear vision contributed to a 43% voter turnout, the lowest in Ontario’s history.
As a result of their poor election results, both De Luca and Horwath stepped down as party leaders. De Luca failed to win his riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge, and the party only won eight of the 12 seats needed to be recognized as an official party in the legislature at Queen’s Park.
Whereas Horwath’s NDP faired better and was elected or leading in 31 ridings. Even though they would once again occupy the title of the official opposition, Horwath’s resignation was imminent. In her 13 years as party leader and four failed elections, she has not convinced Ontarians why the NDP brand is the right choice for the province.
Heading into election day, Premier Ford had a double-digit lead, and his decisive victory only came as a shock to the Liberals and NDP voters. Many voters and political pundits thought the results would have been different, citing Ford’s handle of the global pandemic. They were under the notion that would be the issue that sees Ford’s Conservatives falter or be reduced to minority status, but that did not happen.
During the last leaders’ debate, COVID-19 was a hot topic, and according to the opposition leaders, Premier Ford failed Ontarians. However, recent polling shows that Ontarians still favoured a P.C government despite the split of opinions on handling the global pandemic.
It is easy to point fingers at governments at the start of the pandemic, but it is disingenuous considering the unknown. And when comparing Canada’s handling of the pandemic to that of our neighbours to the south and other G7 nations, the country did exceptionally well.
Some provinces had better handling of COVID-19, but all at multiple points during the pandemic, had to deal with outbreaks that questioned their Premier’s decision-making. That being said, Ford did acknowledge there were mistakes made and lessons learned.
A part of Ford’s majority win can be attributed to his administration’s ability to keep Ontarians working and stimulate the economy as Canada emerged from a once-in-a-century pandemic. According to Stats Canada, Ontario’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.4%. While the national average reached a record low of 5.3% in March, the unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 5.2% in April.
In his victory speech, Ford also credits the party’s success with building a new momentum of Conservative voters and expanding the base. Ford also promised to keep his campaign promises and be a premier for all Ontarians, regardless of party affiliation.
Image source Ford Twitter feed