For 12th straight time, this riding predicted the Ontario election outcome
Ontario premier-elect Doug Ford speaks to the media after winning the Ontario Provincial election in Toronto, on Friday, June 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Since 1977, voters in Peterborough-Kawartha have been a bellwether in provincial elections, having voted for candidates from the winning party in 11 consecutive elections.
Last night, they stretched that record to 12.
Progressive Conservative candidate Dave Smith won the riding with 37 per cent of the vote, about 2,194 over local NDP candidate Sean Conway, who captured 33 per cent.
With 76 of the possible 124 seats up for grabs, Doug Ford won a clear majority government and is set to become Ontario’s next premier -- the first time in 15 years that the PCs have controlled Queen’s Park.
Polling results show a fascinating race, with several nail-biting wins and a few major landslides. Here, we break down some of the most noteworthy numbers.
THE TIGHTEST RACE
Every vote counts -- but in the Greater Toronto Area, they made a world of difference. The top five closest races were in Toronto or Brampton, and three MPPs won by a margin of less than 100 votes.
The closest race was a tie between Scarborough-Guildwood, captured by the Liberals, and Thunder Bay-Atikokan, which the NDP won. Both ridings were decided by a razor-thin margin of 81 votes.
Notably, two of the top five closest races were won by Liberal candidates, who captured just seven seats – one short of forming official party status.
- Scarborough-Guildwood - 81 votes (Liberal)
- Thunder Bay-Atikokan - 81 votes (NDP)
- Brampton Centre - 89 votes (NDP)
- Ottawa West-Nepean - 176 votes (PC)
- Don Valley West - 181 votes (Liberal)
THE BIGGEST LANDSLIDE
In a handful of ridings, the results weren’t even close. Six candidates won with more than 20,000 votes over their closest opponent.
The biggest blowout of the night was in rural riding Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, where PC candidate John Yakabuski captured 33,350 votes. His closest competitor, NDP candidate Ethel LaValley, won 8,066.
The next biggest landslide was in the heart of Toronto’s Greektown, Toronto-Danforth, where NDP candidate Peter Tabuns earned 24,807 votes more than his PC competitor.
- Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke – 25,284 votes (PC)
- Toronto-Danforth – 24,807 votes (NDP)
- Parkdale-High Park – 22,586 votes (NDP)
- Markham-Unionville - 20,850 votes (PC)
- Simcoe-Grey – 20,650 votes (PC)
TORONTO COUNCIL CURSE?
Doug Ford’s political experience is limited to his four-year term as a Toronto city councillor, but that didn’t stop his party from capturing a majority government.
Other council members weren’t so fortunate. Toronto’s deputy mayor, Denzil Minnan-Wong, ran for the PCs in Don Valley East, but lost to Liberal candidate Michael Coteau by 1,027 votes.
In the nearby riding of Don Valley North, former councillor Shelley Carroll ran for the Liberals, but lost to PC candidate Vincent Ke by 5,443 votes.
Chin Lee resigned from council to run for the Liberals in Scarborough North in hopes of unseating PC incumbent Raymond Cho. Lee lost by 8,493 votes.
STRONGEST PC SUPPORT
The PCs pulled in their strongest support in rural and eastern Ontario. In six ridings, they won more than 60 per cent of the vote.
The heart of the blue vote is centred in the riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, where PC candidate John Yakabuski almost won over 7 out of 10 voters.
- Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke – 69 per cent (25,284 vote margin)
- Oakville – 67 per cent (15,321 vote margin)
- Markham-Unionville – 62 per cent (20,850 vote margin)
- Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry – 61.51 per cent (17,364 vote margin)
- Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes – 61.29 per cent (20,327 vote margin)
STRONGEST NDP SUPPORT
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath didn’t pull off the orange crush she hoped for. But in some areas -- particularly in young, affluent neighbourhoods in Toronto -- her support was loud and clear.
Horwath, who recaptured her seat in Hamilton Centre, is the only party leader who can brag about winning the highest proportional support in their riding on election day.
- Hamilton Centre – 65 per cent (18,136 vote margin)
- Toronto-Danforth – 64 per cent (24,807)
- Nickel Belt – 63 per cent (15,139 vote margin)
- Timiskaming-Cochrane - 61 per cent (10,645 vote margin)
- Davenport – 60 per cent (19,051 vote margin)
STRONGEST LIBERAL SUPPORT
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne resigned Thursday night after her party failed to win enough seats to form official party status.
With only seven seats in highly competitive ridings, the Liberals’ strongest support was not nearly as high as the support for the PCs and NDP. For instance, Wynne captured her riding of Don Valley West with 38 per cent of the vote, just 181 ballots above her PC challenger.
- Ottawa-Vanier – 42.86 per cent (6,323 vote margin)
- Thunder Bay-Superior North – 39.86 per cent (819 vote margin)
- Ottawa South – 39.64 per cent (5,464 vote margin)
- Orleans – 39.09 per cent (2,463 vote margin)
- Don Valley West – 38 per cent (181 vote margin)
A WORLD RECORD
John Turmel of the Pauper Party of Ontario holds the Guinness World Record for most elections contested and most elections lost. He extended his record last night in a loss to PC candidate Will Bouma in Brantford-Brant.
Turmel has run for all sorts of elections across Ontario at the federal, provincial and mayoral levels.