Ding, dong, the Tories are gone; Liberals win majority

The results are in for the 2003 Ontario election:

  1. Liberal: 72 seats
  2. PC: 24 seats
  3. NDP: 7 seats

This is quite close to James Bow’s guesstimate of 70 seats, 24 seats and 9 seats for the Liberals, PCs and NDP, respectively. James’ guess was on par with the more scientific, albeit slightly more accurate, predictions which were touted in the news a few days ago. Good guess-work, James.

It’s no surprise that Michael Bryant won in my riding of St. Paul’s. Similarly, I am not really surprised that Liz Sandals of the Liberals won in Vic’s riding of Guelph-Wellington. I am somewhat surprised by the Liberal win in my parent’s riding of Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge, where Janet Ecker lost in a close race with Liberal candidate and ex-Pickering mayor Wayne Arthurs.

Naturally, my hopes for a Liberal minority have been quashed. It was a pipe dream anyway. What is going to happen to the NDP, however? They increased their popular support but decreased their numbers in the Legislature. This is Howard Hampton’s third go at the office of the Premier. Despite his excellent leadership qualities (personally, I thought he shone through the campaign while the Liberals and PCs took shots at each other), he has failed to garner more seats for his party. He hasn’t show any signs of stepping down tonight, but we’ll see what happens during the coming term.

It will also be interesting to see how the Liberals make out in the next four years. If the province has a large deficit as they claimed during the campaign, how will they balance the books? They promised not to increase taxes on individuals, but have left the door open for increased corporate taxes. Should the economy take a downturn, as it did during the years of Bob Rae and the NDP, the PCs will instantly lay the blame on the Liberals. Nothing less than stellar economic growth will appease the PCs, even though there are already signs the economy is slipping somewhat. Again, we’ll see.

I am of two minds tonight. On the one hand, I am glad the PC government is on the out, but on the other I am not exactly thrilled of the Liberal landslide. Nevertheless, it was an exciting campaign.

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