ONTARIO ELECTION WATCH IV : Starting to look like Ford cakewalk .. only small chance of minority government??

May 24th, 2022 | By | Category: In Brief
“51.4%” by (half Albertan) Toronto artist Michael Seward, May 2022.

ONTARIO ELECTION WATCH 2022, CW EDITORS, GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. MAY 24, 2022 : Just to start with, here’s a sunny lakeside toast to the real 24th of May, in the Old Ontario that only sees a 2022 future for itself under the newly “evolved” conservative grass-roots political guru from Old Etobicoke, in the Old Toronto northwestern suburbs.

(To say nothing of the shrewd gentlemen and remarkable women said to be running the premier’s current controversial but apparently successful enough election campaign.)

Old Ontario mood in the air

This Old Ontario mood isn’t the only element in the Ford Conservative political base of great consequence in the 2022 election.

But it is important, and you can still see it on the ground as you travel around especially Southern Ontario. It works hard to survive and it still has many roots in the old 19th century family-farm democracy, aka nowadays colonial settler society.

From here take the regional breakdown in the “Last Updated: May 24, 2022 11:03 a.m.” version
of Éric Grenier’s “Ontario Votes 2022 Poll Tracker” on the CBC News site as one case in point.

Untitled by Michael Seward, May 2022.

The Liberals’ problem is that they are only in first place in one of the six regions — the new amalgamated City of Toronto (which now includes Premier Ford’s family home in old Etobicoke, and has 25 seats in the current Legislative Assembly).

The New Democrats’ similar problem is that they too are in first place in only one region — Northern Ontario (13 seats).

Meanwhile, the Ford Conservatives are ahead in four of the six regions : Southwest Ontario (24 seats), Greater Toronto Area (34 seats), Eastern Ontario (19 seats), and Hamilton-Niagara (9 seats — but note the New Democrats are very close behind the Ford “PCs” in this Andrea Horwath homeland.)

The latest polling says Ford Conservative majority government

The greatest prize, vote counters will stress, is the seat-rich Greater Toronto Area, where present-day Ontario elections are possibly too often nowadays said to be won or lost. And here in the surrounding GTA beyond the current City proper what Grenier does just call PC are on his May 24 numbers more than eight and a half points ahead of LIB.

Untitled by Michael Seward, May 2022.

In the larger interests of democracy it is no doubt worth duly noting as well that no party in Éric Grenier’s “Ontario Votes 2022 Poll Tracker” (or anywhere else) comes close (ever) to majority support in any of the six regions. On the May 24 numbers the closest is PC 40.0% in Southwest Ontario, followed by PC 39.2% in the Greater Toronto Area …

Nonetheless … the upshot of all this is that all three of Éric Grenier’s “Ontario Votes 2022 Poll Tracker”, Philippe J. Fournier’s “338Canada Ontario,” and “The Signal” — a “poll aggregator created for the [Toronto] Star by Vox Pop Labs” are currently projecting one degree or another of majority government for the Ford PC s on June 2, now not much more than a week away.

And then finally late this afternoon the weekly “Nanos Research survey of 504 adult voters … commissioned by CTV News and CP24” reported. And it found that “37.3 per cent of decided voters in its latest survey intend to cast a ballot for the PCs, up from 36.1 per cent last week and 35.4 per cent the week prior.”

Has Premier Ford really evolved ??

Untitled by Michael Seward, May 2022.

Reports that some notable enough slice of Ontario voters who chose the Trudeau Liberals in the September 20, 2021 federal election will be voting for the Ford Conservatives on June 2, 2022 may go some distance in explaining today’s Toronto Star headline : “NDP gaining at Liberals’ expense, but PCs still on track to win another majority in Ontario election.”

(Alternatively, one of our valued GTA correspondents has now decided to vote NDP on June 2, because she feels sorry for the Andrea Horwath who has come down with the coronavirus in the midst of the campaign. And we’d guess there may be others out there who feel this way ??)

At the same time, Doug Ford’s increasingly notable ability to pose as someone who has grown out of his original Ford Nation incarnation, and into something that fits much better with the province’s winning post WWII “Progressive Conservative” tradition, is underlined in Martin Regg Cohn’s May 24 Toronto Star confession : “Watching Doug Ford up close on the campaign trail, I saw a changed man in changed times … For all the bravado that still tumbles out, like old times, the old maverick is modulated and moderated, even humbled.”

It is in this article as well that Premier Ford himself confesses : “I think I’ve evolved. I’ve evolved, absolutely — 100 per cent. You evolve into your role..”

Is unworkable Ford minority government just a fantasy in era of disengaged voters ?

Untitled by Michael Seward, May 2022.

Another May 24 Toronto Star article, from Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Robert Benzie, at least keeps some hope alive for the one half-realistic prospect of holding the rather volatile Ford government of the past four years to some serious account for a largely lacklustre record.

This article’s headlines run : “Confidential Liberal memo lays out strategy to hold Doug Ford’s PCs to a minority government … Doug Ford leads in the June 2 election campaign, but the Liberals have surged ahead of the NDP and could stop a Progressive Conservative majority, according to internal polling obtained by the Star.”

These headlines also compare more or less with those for a May 24 article by Mike Crawley on the CBC News site : “Ontario Liberals, NDP insist they can deny Doug Ford his majority in campaign’s final stretch … PC Party has remained steadily in lead since election was called, CBC Ontario Poll Tracker shows.”

Untitled by Michael Seward, May 2022.

A particular passage from this Mike Crawley article also reminded us of the “disengaged voter” syndrome that Greg Barns’s account of the recent Australian election introduced into our Ontario election thinking : “‘There has been almost no movement in party support since the day the election was called,’ said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, in a tweet Monday. ‘Voters are tuned out and neither big opposition party has created significant interest in change’ … For Ford and his team, that is a winning scenario.”

Some of us around the table here this morning also liked the idea of the two new right-wing Ontario PC antagonists, the New Blue Party (3.0% in the latest Nanos survey) and the Ontario Party (1.7%) eating enough into the ultimate Ford numbers to increase the minority government pressure on the rising new PC establishment.

This may be unlikely, though the Ontario Party does have one seat … and enough for now (already too much for the new age of disengaged voters) … more on this (maybe) in our next Ontario Election Watch V …

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