Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Ontario votes, as populist Doug Ford leads in opinion polls

Ontario votes, as populist Doug Ford leads in opinion polls

In many books, NDP leader Andrea Horwath was poised to be the Cinderella premier: the patient, working class, single mom who had quietly built momentum that saw pundits predict that she just may be crowned government leader by scooping up all those voters sick and exhausted of Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government.

Ontario's Conservatives, led by Ford, won 76 of the 124 seats in the province, with 99% of the polls reporting.

The hotly contested riding of Toronto-St.

When the legislature was dissolved, the seat was vacant following the retirement of long-time NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo at the end of 2017. Jim Bradley, who had held the riding of St. Catharines for the Liberals for 41 years, was also defeated.

The outgoing Liberal leader spoke to a small knot of enthusiastic supporters - who were chanting her name as she arrived - at York Mills Gallery after the polls had closed and the PC win was evident.

He's the second son of Diane and Doug Ford Sr., a provincial politician for one term in the late 1990s.

Mr Ford ran a populist campaign, promising to fight for "the little guy" and to make life more affordable for Ontario residents by cutting energy cost, slashing the price of petrol, and lowering provincial income tax.

As Toronto mayor, Rob Ford gained global notoriety for his scandals, outlandish public acts, and drug use, including admitting to smoking crack cocaine.

The party lost official status after leading the province for the past 15 years.

Ford also rolled out several pledges designed with populist appeal in mind, from cutting gas prices by 10 cents a litre to introducing buck-a-beer and cutting hydro bills.

Despite repeated promises, Ford never did release a detailed plan of where these cuts were going to be made or deliver a fully costed election platform.

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Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner captured the party's first-ever seat in Ontario.

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Schreiner finished third in his riding in Guelph, Ont., during the last election, narrowly behind the Progressive Conservative candidate.

Her New Democrats saw a surge in the polls halfway through the campaign, triggering a wave of attacks from both the governing Liberals and the opposition Tories.

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford repeatedly slammed Horwath's roster of candidates as radical and inexperienced.

Wynne also listed many of her government's achievements, including full day kindergarten, raising minimum wage, a better Canada Pension Plan, free prescriptions for youth, and more.

Doug Ford's Conservatives defeated Kathleen Wynne's Liberals and Andrea Horwath's NDPs.

The governing Liberals, who have been in power for the past 15 years, are fighting for survival following Premier Kathleen Wynne's stunning admission of defeat last week.

As a result, Elections Ontario has extended voting hours in seven locations.

The province used new technology in this election, and problems with some of the electronic vote tabulators caused delays in a few polling stations.

Approximately 9.8 million people were registered to vote today, and more than 768,000 voted in advance polls.

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