Looking at the election results and questioning the media narratives. Was Hudak rejected that aggressively? Did Wynne appeal that much to voters?
The popular vote in 2011: Liberals 37.7%, Conservatives 35.5, NDP 22.7. This time around, Liberals 38.7, Conservatives 31.2, NDP 23.8. The Green Party went from 2.9 to 4.8.
The Liberals grabbed a few PC seats (Barrie, Newmarket-Aurora and Burlington) where they also appear to have gained votes from the NDP. In Cambridge, the Liberals gained a greater share of the vote than the Tories lost. So they must’ve skimmed off some NDP support as well. So you’re led to think strategic voting might be a thing.
Well, in the 416 suburbs, the Liberals held seats despite getting a smaller share of the vote: Etobicoke North, Etobicoke Centre, York West and Scarborough-Rouge River. In all except Etobicoke Centre, the NDP made some gains. And they got about the same support in that fourth riding. So it’s not everywhere that voters switched from orange to red.
In the old City of Toronto, you see the NDP losing 9 points in Toronto Centre, but Liberal incumbent Glen Murray only picked up 3.6. The Tories gained nearly 3 points. In St. Pauls, the NDP lost 6 points, but Eric Hoskins only gained 1.4. The Tories gained 3. (Some very well-heeled people live in those ridings, which hints at why I’ve always said Etobicoke and Scarborough shouldn’t be blamed completely for Rob Ford’s mayoralty.)
The Tories even picked up a couple of points in Trinity-Spadina, where you wonder why they even risk the deposit—the Liberals didn’t get all the votes that Rosario Marchese lost. And the Conservatives didn’t lose their share of the vote in ridings like Beaches-East York, York South Weston, Eglinton Lawrence or Don Valley west, and were about the same in Davenport and Don Valley East.
Doug Holyday lost his seat in Etobicoke Lakeshore, but it’s easier to see his byelection win last year as an anomaly (a safe protest vote) than to see Milczyn’s win as a repudiation of Hudak. Holyday’s share of the vote last night was 18% better than the Tories got in 2011.
Interesting that the two ridings where the NDP were able to unseat incumbents were Oshawa and Windsor West. At a point when the NDP seem less in tune with organized labour than ever.
Horwath’s New Labour Party also held on to Kitchener-Waterloo (where the PCs did even worse than in the 2012 byelection) and London West, and won with a larger share of the vote in London-Fanshawe. Places where job security is in doubt. Not only did they seem to see through Hudak’s half-baked jobs plan, but they also avoided the Liberals, whose platform was cast as more union- and labour-friendly.
Bottom line: there seem to have been lots of moving parts in the election. This isn’t one that fits into a neat package.