This election in Ontario is all about change but will things change so much that Kathleen Wynne loses her seat? Probably.
I mean it isn’t for sure, voting day is still 19 days away. But on a scale of probable versus not probable, I’d lean towards probable.
It sounds odd given how much “free” stuff Wynne has been willing to throw at voters. Free prescriptions for anyone under 25. Free prescriptions for seniors. Free daycare, for some people. Free raises in a higher minimum wage. Rent control.
Wynne has been playing from the playbook of the populist left and she still can’t gain traction. So not only do I think she and her party will lose the election, I think she will lose her own seat.
Top five reasons Wynne will lose the election and her seat.
Wynne just isn’t liked by the public.
In one recent Ipsos poll they asked voters which leader was best on which issue and which one you’d like to have a beer or coffee with. Wynne trailed in every category behind Doug Ford and Andrea Horwath. That mood is across Ontario and apparently even in Wynne’s own riding.
Her own riding is turning against her.
Wynne has won her riding of Don Valley West by more than 50% since she first took the seat in 2003. Her worst score was going up against then PC leader John Tory in 2007. Well a poll by Campaign Research, commissioned by LiUNA, shows that Wynne is trailing in her own riding. The poll has the PCs at 43%, the Liberals at 31% and the NDP at 19%.
Wynne is irritating voters every time she speaks.
People are often shocked when I say on my radio show that Kathleen Wynne is a nice woman. She is. She is also an incredibly disarming woman when she greets hostile protesters or upset citizens. Yet this election she is grating on people with the way she speaks to them. Wynne is talking down to the public when she explains ideas. She may be the smartest person in the room at any given moment but talking to voters like they are stupid for not supporting the intricacies of her plan is not a way to win voters over.
Change is in the air.
The call for change is a strong one in politics and once voters decide your time is up, there isn’t really much politicians can do. In 2006, voters across Canada decided they had enough of the Liberals and gave that Stephen Harper a chance. He lasted almost 10 full years but by October 2015, voters wanted change again and went with Trudeau at the last minute. The latest Abacus poll shows that Wynne and her Liberals have the fewest number of voters that would consider voting for them and the NDP the most. In the last two weeks of the campaign watch the NDP grow at the expense of the Liberals.
Wynne is less popular than her party.
While the Ontario Liberals sit at around 22-24% depending on the poll, Wynne is even less popular. In fact, Wynne has been the least popular premier in Canada for a couple of years now. At one point she sunk as low as 12%, bouncing back up to 19% approval rating in the latest survey from Angus Reid. When you trail your party as a leader, you have a real problem. Parties want their leader to be as popular, or even more popular, so they can pull in voters than might be wary. Wynne is scaring away voters that would otherwise support the Liberals. If you lose the core, you lose hard, including your own seat.
I could be proven completely wrong by the time we all wake up on June 8, 2018. Wynne could win her seat and mount a comeback in this time. Ford and Wynne could both tank on some crazy revelations.
But I don’t see that happening.
Unless something drastic happens, like Scrooge and those three ghosts coming in the middle of the night, then Wynne’s political career is as dead as Marley.
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