Ontario election 2018, II : Is it turning into the Conservatives vs. New Democrats struggle Stephen Harper dreamed of ????

May 24th, 2018 | By | Category: In Brief

Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley welcomes then Conservative PM Stephen Harper to Calgary Stampede, July 2015.

GANATSEKWYAGON, ON., MAY 24.  [UPDATED 1 PM ET]. According to CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier’s latest calculations, the rounded-off polling averages for Ontario election 2018 are now Ford Nation PCs 37%, Andrea Horwath New Democrats 36%, and Kathleen Wynne Liberals 21%.

M. Grenier explains the future between now and the June 7 election day with : “Doug Ford’s numbers have been trending downwards since the start of the campaign and are beginning to put a PC victory in some doubt. Nevertheless, the PCs lead where the bulk of the seats are located … After first taking support away from the Liberals, the NDP appears to be eating into PC support. If this continues, the odds of an NDP victory will increase.”

Meanwhile, the latest Maclean’s-Pollara Ontario poll for May 21—22 has Andrea Horwath New Democrats 38%, Ford Nation PCs 37%, and Kathleen Wynne Liberals 18%. And the latest Leger poll has PCs and NDP tied at 37% with the Liberals at 21%. (Leger finds as well that “a sizable number of voters – more than one third of those asked – have yet to make a final decision.”)

Warren Kinsella has also stressed that the PC vote “is spread out in a way that is more efficient” than the NDP vote. And Éric Grenier’s latest calculations are still suggesting a PC majority government of at least 63 of 124 seats in the legislature.

It is still not exactly easy to believe that a government led by Andrea Horwath is finally going to be the result when all the votes are counted on June 7. Grenier’s May 24 poll averages nonetheless suggest that both Liberals and PCs are losing ground, while the New Democrats (and to a much lesser extent Mike Schreiner’s seldom-noticed Green Party) are gaining.

If current trends continue over the remaining two weeks of the campaign, the prospects of at least a PC minority government may increase. And Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein’s calculation of 10 days ago now, suggesting that the PC s won’t be able to make a minority government work, still looks provocative. (“Unless the PCs win a clear majority of 63 of the Legislature’s 124 seats on June 7, it will likely be either an NDP majority or minority government.”)

From an Ipsos poll released May 9, 2018 when the official election writ was dropped in Ontario and the sign campaigns began.

At the same time, there are moments when I wonder whether what’s happening in Ontario right now is actually coming very close to Stephen Harper’s old dream of a Canadian political system that congenitally pits Conservatives against New Democrats, who the majority of voters are finally bound to view as unrealistic socialist utopians (or something of that sort).

There may or may not be some prospect that the leaders’ debate on TV this Sunday, May 27 (6:30 to 8:00 PM) will add a fresh edge to the race. Meanwhile, I am hoping that Mr. Harper’s old dream remains locked in the closet to which it was consigned by the 2015 federal election. While I continue to wonder and wait … wait and wonder …  (and remain personally convinced that a Premier Horwath could certainly not be any worse than a Premier Ford).

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