McGuinty wins re-election in 2007 Ontario General Election

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Colours representing party's elected last night
Dalton McGuinty, leader of the Liberals and premier of Ontario since 2003.
Image: Joshua Ainslie.
John Tory campaigning in Guelph, Ontario September 24, 2007.
Image: Denis Drever.
Frank de Jong speaking at the True Cost Economics Forum. Melbourne Town Hall. 20 July 2007.
Image: Pengo.
Howard Hampton (center) at a nomination meeting on July 9, 2007.
Image: Abebenjoe.

The official results of the 2007 Ontario General Election now show that the Ontario Liberal Party has been re-elected. The Liberal Party lead by Dalton McGuinty will spend the next four years in a majority government.

McGuinty is the first Liberal premier to have back-to-back majorities since Mitchell Hepburn, who held office from 1934-1942, with his second majority starting in 1937. Hepburn's government legacy includes the Queen Elizabeth Way and Rainbow Bridge to Niagara Falls, New York.

McGuinty wins, Tory doesn't get seat

McGuinty was re-elected in his riding of Ottawa South.

In his speech, McGuinty told supporters "For this great privilege I am profoundly grateful." He continued by stating that the party "deplore[s] negativity," and that no one should "mistake our civility as a weakness."

Progressive Conservative (PC) leader John Tory was defeated by Liberal candidate Kathleen Wynne in the riding of Don Valley West. He previously held a seat in his former riding of Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey. A leadership election will be held if Tory resigns his position, a move he has so far avoided.

Asking hypothetically "Is [Tory] a little too progressive for the Conservatives?", Liberal Gerard Kennedy on CTV echoed the thoughts of many media outlets, who feel the faith-based school funding was the key blow to Tory's campaign. Tory called McGuinty to concede at 10:30 p.m. McGuinty was first to make a televised speech, despite the general practice of winners speaking last.

New Democratic (NDP) leader Howard Hampton was re-elected in his riding of Kenora—Rainy River.

Green Party leader Frank de Jong ran in Burlington earlier this year in a by-election, but lost to a PC strong-hold candidate. He ran again in the riding of Davenport, but lost to Liberal Mario Silva.

As of 23:40 EDT with 57.6% of the polls reporting:

Party (Leader) Votes Popular Vote Elected Seats Leading Seats
(Dalton McGuinty)
950,546 42.19% 71 2
Progressive Conservative (PC)
(John Tory)
720,597 31.67% 26 1
New Democratic (NDP)
(Howard Hampton)
391,176 16.79% 10 2
(Frank de Jong)
187,647 8.01% 0 0
Other Parties 30,803 1.34% 0 0

Results trickled in for most of the early evening, due to the clog of visitors to its public website. At 9:49 p.m. ET last night, CTV told viewers that they were only receiving result updates every ten seconds at top speed, compared to a test run of ten results per second. They speculated at the time that the computers' new software was to blame. The media outlets were still calling victories early in the evening, with one station unironically declaring a candidate with seven votes (compared to two others with three apiece) as "well up in front".

Former PC Premier Ernie Eves, NDP MP Olivia Chow, and former Liberal education minister Gerard Kennedy appeared as commentators throughout the evening. Former Ontario Liberal MPP Alvin Curling, who was the first Black speaker of the Ontario Legislature, and former Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps were among those on Citytv Toronto. Global's panelists included Warren Kinsella, Jane Pitfield and Marilyn Churley, while CHCH News hosted Liberal MP Garth Turner.

First Nations representative Regional Chief Angus Toulouse congratulated McGuinty on his re-election, suggesting this would allow the chance to build on an existing relationship, rather than start anew. "There is a lot of work to do in follow up to the important recommendations outlined in the Final Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry. This work must be done jointly and in a collaborative manner and I am encouraged by the fact that the Premier, and the Government, have committed to address this in partnership with First Nations."

Wikinews has a full selection of in-depth interviews with 53 candidates; see Ontario Votes 2007. You may view other articles about Canada and Ontario at Wikinews' Canada Portal.

Referendum on electoral reform

The election included a referendum on electoral reform, asking voters whether to replace the existing plurality voting system with a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system. MMP lost as the existing system was favoured by a margin of 63.0%, based on unofficial referendum results as at 23:40 EDT.

Throughout the night, many outlets stated the opinion that the referendum was poorly promoted. Even Toronto's Mayor David Miller, appearing on TVO at 9:56 p.m., called the proposed process "MPMP". Some outlets, like the Owen Sound Sun Times called the referendum process "set up to fail".

While only 50% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the general election, 54% cast a referendum ballot.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario chairperson Jen Hassum commented that the "projected defeat of Mixed Member Proportional reinforces a massive generational divide in Ontario. Recent polling showed that 67 per cent of voters under the age of 35 supported the new voting system."


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