TORONTO — Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives sailed to a second majority government Thursday, kept afloat by an electorate unenthusiastic about change, and a decidedly safer, less flashy campaign than when he burst onto the Ontario political scene four years ago.
This campaign lacked the pizzazz and bombast of 2018, with buck-a-beer promises traded for more staid infrastructure plans.
Promises of new highways and hospitals centred Ford’s “get it done” pitch, seeking to turn the page on the pandemic by building the economy, though his budget-turned-platform didn’t contain much else in the way of new pledges for the next four years.
Voters hoping to avoid another Progressive Conservative government failed to rally behind either the NDP or the Liberals to produce a presumptive challenger to Ford.
Polls at the beginning of the campaign told much the same story as at the end, with both parties jockeying for a couple of percentage points here and there, far back from the Progressive Conservatives.
The NDP was poised to form Official Opposition again, leading or elected in the second highest number of seats, though well back from the Progressive Conservatives.
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca lost his own riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge, but he has vowed for forge ahead regardless of the result there.
Del Duca was chosen in March 2020 as the new leader for a party looking to rebuild itself after being reduced in 2018 from a majority government to holding just seven seats, not enough for official party status.
This report by The Canadian Press was first publishedJune 2, 2022.
The Canadian Press