CUP Ontario Bureau Chief
TORONTO (CUP) — Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals have held onto power — albeit with slightly less power.
The Liberals just missed out on securing a third consecutive majority on Oct. 6, winning 53 out of the 54 ridings needed to form a majority. They will be Ontario’s first minority government since 1985.
“It’s time to move forward the Ontario way,” McGuinty said during his election night speech in Ottawa. “It’s about being there for each other in the good times and in the not so good times.”
At the end of the night, the Liberals had won 37.6 per cent of the popular vote, with Tim Hudak’s Conseratives close behind at 35.4 per cent. The NDP won 22.7 per cent of the popular vote and the Greens trailed with 2.9 per cent.
Post-secondary education was a recurring theme over the course of the campaign as Andrea Horwath’s NDP proposed a tuition freeze and the McGuinty Liberals promised a 30 per cent rebate on tuition.
“We will move forward together to improve education, because education is one of the foundations of a prosperous economy in this extremely competitive world,” McGuinty told supporters on Oct. 6.
The Liberals will return to Queen’s Park with 19 fewer seats than they did before the election. They lost seats to both the Conseratives and the NDP in Southwestern Ontario.
“It is very clear that the people of Ontario have put Dalton McGuinty on a much shorter leash,” Hudak said during his election night speech in Niagara Falls.
The Ontario voter turnout on Oct. 6 was 49.2 per cent, which is a record low for the province. In the last election in 2007, the turnout was 52.8 per cent.