He didn’t win as many seats as I had predicted – 76 seats won instead of the 81 I called for but Doug Ford’s victory is huge.
I was off on a couple of spots. The Liberals did better than I predicted, three seats in Ottawa, three in Toronto and one in Thunder Bay.
The size of the Ford victory is still impressive though.
Voter participation was up
Voter participation was at its highest for an Ontario campaign since 1999. While many pundits said the “lackluster campaign” and “uninspiring leaders” would result in a low voter turnout, it was up.
A full 58% of eligible voters cast a ballot, far higher than the 52% in 2014 and 48% in 2011. Of those voters, 40.4% cast a ballot for the Progressive Conservative Party.
You will hear that voters held their noses and cast a ballot for the Ford led PCs but the numbers don’t bear that out. Advance poll voting was up, total voting was up and the PC share of the vote count was up.
If you hear messages like that, or that the PCs have a thin mandate, ignore it as media spin.
A strong majority
Doug Ford’s majority is stronger than Justin Trudeau’s in a couple ways. Firstly, at 40.4% of the popular vote, Ford hit a higher mark than Trudeau did in 2015 when he scored 39.47% of the popular vote. Of course Trudeau was also lower than Stephen Harper’s 2011 win where he scored 39.62% of the vote.
But we know the media paints Liberal victories at sweeping and any conservative leaning party squeaks by.
Ford’s majority also beats Trudeau’s in the strength inside the legislature. In 2015 Trudeau took 54% of the seats, Ford captured 61% of the seats.
Here comes the resistance
He has a clear mandate to govern, we know that is true. The question is whether he will get that chance to govern or if the left will do as I predict and try to bury him in lawsuits and invented scandals to derail him.
When the left wins, conservatives let them govern while still opposing. When the right wins, the left invokes lawfare to try and stop them.
Expect the later with Ford.