Ontario election: Progressive Conservatives take majority government

By Marina Wang

Within 15 minutes of the polls closing, Doug Ford, leader of the Progressive Conservatives, was projected to be the next premier of Ontario. Six minutes later, the Progressive Conservatives were declared a majority government.

The Progressive Conservatives, which ran on a platform promising to cut hydro bills, create jobs and slash the carbon tax, won 76 seats in tonight’s election—up 49 seats from the last Ontario general election in 2014. They took 40% of the popular vote and have not held a majority government in Ontario since 1999.

The New Democrats, led by Andrea Horwath, will form the official opposition with 39 seats, up 21 seats since the last election. “Together, we won more seats than we have held in a generation. And I am deeply humbled that Ontarians have asked us to serve as the new Official Opposition,” said Horwath.

Liberals suffered a crushing lost, only securing 7 seats and losing 48—the worst election result the party has ever seen. At only seven seats the Liberal Party loses official party status (they would have required eight). Liberal party leader Kathleen Wynne conceded that she wouldn’t win the election earlier in the week and stepped down as party leader tonight. “There is another generation and I am passing the torch to that generation,” said Wynne. “I know this result is not the result we were looking for.”

The green party made a historical first by electing Mike Schreiner as MPP in Guelph. This is the first time the green party has held a seat in Ontario legislative assembly.

The Progressives Conservatives made gains largely by sweeping up liberal votes in the Greater Toronto Area and Toronto. In his victory speech Ford reiterated that “this victory belongs to the people” and promised “prosperity our province has never seen before.”

“Tonight we have a sent a clear message to the world: Ontario is open for business!” Ford declared at the finale of his speech.