Ford’s PCs win 2nd straight majority government in Ontario, CBC News projects

Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives have cruised to a second majority government in Ontario, the CBC News decision desk projects, propelled by an electorate with seemingly little appetite for change.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca lost in his home riding of Vaughan–Woodbridge

Ontario Votes 2022: election night

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CBC News brings all of the election results and expert analysis as Ontarians head to the polls.

Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives have cruised to a second majority government in Ontario, the CBC News decision desk projects, propelled by an electorate with seemingly little appetite for change.

Just how large that majority will be is not yet clear, with final results from ridings around the province still coming in.

It is rare for a provincial party in Canada to expand a majority, though the PCs look on track to add to their caucus at Queen's Park. Nearly an hour after most polls closed at 9 p.m. ET, the PCs were leading in or projected to win at least 80 of Ontario's 124 seats.

Premier Doug Ford was re-elected in his west Toronto riding of Etobicoke North, as were a slew of previous PC cabinet ministers including Peter Bethlenfalvy, who served as finance minister, Merilee Fullerton, who was long-term care minister during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Vic Fedeli, who was most recently minister of economic development.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca lost by a considerable margin to PC MPP-designate Michael Tibollo in his home riding of Vaughan–Woodbridge, CBC projects.

A key question will be whether Del Duca can continue on as leader after what is shaping up to be a very disappointing night for the Liberals. The party held seven seats when the legislature was dissolved, and need at least 12 to regain official party status. It's not clear if they will make that bar.

A senior Liberal source told CBC News that tonight was "worse than anyone could imagine."

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has again won in Hamilton Centre, a seat she has held since 2004. It was her fourth election at the party's helm.

The NDP spent the last four years as the Official Opposition, holding 38 seats before the campaign began. The party looks on track to lose at least some of those this time around.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner was re-elected in his riding of Guelph. He became Ontario's first Green MPP in the 2018 election.

The party lost its second-best chance for another seat at Queen's Park, however, losing in the riding of Parry Sound–Muskoka. The Greens had been hopeful that Matt Richter would win the seat, but Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith took the riding for the PCs.

Ford needed majority

The PCs went into election day as the front-runners after a 29-day campaign that saw little movement in public opinion polls.

Ford will return to the premier's office after a term that began turbulently with a series of nepotism scandals and spanned more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 Ontarians.

The PCs spent the last four years governing with a legislative majority after winning in 76 ridings in 2018. After some MPPs defected and several more were tossed from the caucus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the party held 67 seats when parliament dissolved in early May.

Ford ran a tightly controlled front-runner's campaign, with his handlers deliberately limiting his exposure to media questions. Many PC candidates also refused to give media interviews or participate in local debates.

The PC campaign touted Ford's efforts to expand his voter base, saying he has made significant inroads with working class voters. Ford secured endorsements from more than a half-dozen private sector construction unions during the campaign with a "get it done" pitch to build highways and hospitals across the province.

The PCs bet big that a winning coalition of voters was eager to turn the page on the COVID-19 pandemic. Ford's campaign also featured financial relief specifically targeted at drivers, a key demographic — particularly in the vote-rich 905 region, where the PCs flipped previously NDP seats.

Ford needed a majority to return to Queen's Park, as the leaders of the province's three other main parties said they would not prop up a PC minority.

More to come.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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