So I'm back at the computer and what can I say, it's a good night to be a Liberal!
Global went on the air at 9 PM to proclaim a McGuinty majority so you knew the night was going to go well.
My predictions were a bit off the mark, but I can't say I'm sad about that.
So my thoughts on the whole night (based on piecing together my memories from tonight and from re-watching CPAC coverage)....
HUGE victory for McGuinty, he's gotten a clear mandate from the people. The Liberals have done better than pretty much ANYONE had predicted.
HUGE defeat for Tory, who has seen his party popular vote plummet below what even Ernie Eves got. Way worse than I thought they'd get. How can he stay on as leader?
I was a bit wrong about the NDP though, their popular vote and seat count is a bit better than I thought it would be. Probably Hampton siphoned off some PC voters. Though early on in the night it looked like they might get as many as 20% of the vote and 14 seats but that took a bit of tumble later in the night down to 17% and 10 seats (which is what they started the campaign with). I don't think Hampton will get to stick around either though since this is his 3rd kick at the can, but you know what at least he can say he went out having increased his party's share of seats and popular vote.
And the Green popular vote was pretty high (8%), never thought they'd get that high. But still no seats, that's too bad, I think with that kind of support they deserved at least one.
As for specific ridings:
Levac wins big (by 20%!)!
Sandals wins big (by 15%)!
They were two of the earlier Liberals declared re-elected. Having worked on both campaigns this time I'm proud of that. This was a bigger victory for Sandals given that she only won by about 5% last time.
Laura Albanese looks like she's won in York South Weston. Good, she's a great candidate.
Ted McMeekin wins prety comfortably. Good job to the people I know in Hamilton who worked on his campaign.
Randy Hillier falls narrowly behind late in the night before coming back out ahead again. It's safe to say the legislature is better off without him, but sadly it looks like he's gotten a pass. Well at the least he should do wonders for PC popularity in the upcoming session at Queen's Park. Could give the Liberals some pretty good fodder, but still this man did not deserve a seat.
Tim Peterson gets to rue the day he left the Liberal family as he gets soundly defeated. I'm sure he'll be eating crow at the next family dinner.
Tory has NOW been DEFEATED! :) I see he actually didn't do much better than David Turnbull (yeah I know everyone remembers him now) in 2003 (39.7% for Tory vs. 38.9% for Turnbull). Kathleen Wynne will continue to do us proud. I think she'd make a great deputy Premier. Tory can move on to something else.
In other news...MMP Referendum has gone down soundly to defeat (only about 37% support). I didn't think it would crack 50% but I didn't think it would do this bad. So that's the end of electoral reform for good then and that's a bit of a shame.
Speeches came up at about 10:45 PM:
Oddly McGuinty went first (usually the opposition goes first).
Anyways as for his speech....
4 MORE YEARS!
The French part at the beginning (and French interspersed throughout) was a good touch, I really like that McGuinty never forgets the Francophone population we have in Ontario.
Gives the voters props. Shows his appreciation to his candidates and his volunteers. Good compliments paid to the candidates and leaders of the other parties. Very classy.Thanks his family and of course his wife.
The whole rest of the speech was about framing up what Ontario is and what Ontario said tonight. Some of the major lines:
-We (Ontarians) have not voted for the status quo, we have voted for progress
-We will embrace positive ideas, deplore negativity
-We do not want our children or society to be divided
-We expect our government to Improve medicare, Green the environment, and move our publicly funded schools forward
-We judge governments on their record, warts and all
-We value progress above all
-We want our government to look forward beyond the next election and to the next generation (borrowing a line from Dion it seems)
- We are a strong province at the centre of a strong country.
- We believe in medicare, not private health care
- We believe in public funds for public schools, not for private ones
- We will always be moving forward together!
Makes me pround to be an Ontarian and proud to live in a Liberal Ontario!
Kathleen Wynne talks next:"We DID IT!" She deserved to win. Tory should have known better than to pick a fight with her. She's the new giant killer of the Liberal party (the last one of course knocked off Kim Campbell, what a coincidence). The rest of her speech was not picked up well, just heard that Ontarians were saying that we believe in public education and she deserves to keep running the show there or at the very least to be kept in a very high profile cabinet and I think she should be deputy Premier.
John Tory's speech then next....
It was largely a pretty standard speech. Aside from the complaining again about Ontario (big contrast with McGuinty's speech) which wasn't necessary it was an ok job and classy enough. Though he didn't resign? He wants to lead from outside the legislature? Who will give him their seat? How will he get past a leadership review later this year? I still say he's done. I guess he's asking for the same treatment Andre Boisclair got in Quebec, he will be hounded out, would have been better to go out gracefully like Martin did I think.
I think Tory can be useful outside of politics though, maybe he'll go back to the United Way or something.
Later Kathleen Wynne was asked what does she think about John Tory continuing on and she thought that was all for the best. Yeah I wonder why? Still with Tory gone the Tories might veer further back towards the right which would just be bad for Ontario in general.
Howard Hampton came next for his speech....
Took a trip down memory lane at the start. From the get go it was sounding like a retirement speech. He was not sounding happy. Feel kind of bad for him, but I guss he's had a long run. Mentions support from First Nations, that's good (not mentioned really by the other leaders). Mentions his female canadidates good too. Makes it sound like he'll be working hard in elections to come. Again I don't see how this will work. Mentions that there will be 5-6 recounts. Kind of anti-climatic finish just about how we need a minimum wage and he'll work with the other parties. Still surprised that he didn't resign, his speech kind of sounded it was going that way at the start. I think Hampton will go out more gracefully over the next couple weeks than Tory. I don't think he'll have to be hounded out.
Final results as of 1 AM:
Liberals: 71 seats (42%)
Conservatives: 26 seats (32%)
NDP: 10 seats (17%)
So all in all I'm pretty happy, the Liberals won huge, but I'd also note that I think the Green Party were a big winner tonight as they've proven that that 8% that everyone was saying was a parked vote actually held.
This has big implications for the federal election given that the provincial Green party has received much less press than the federal equivalent.
Anyways that's it for me tonight. I think I'll be off on provincial issues for awhile yet and I'll be talking more about federal politics as Parliament comes back next week. But I'll be back to it as the new Cabinet is announced the MPP's return to Queen's Park.
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