In a remarkable twist, just five days before the provincial election on June 7, the leader of the governing Liberal Party has essentially conceded the election, saying in a press conference acknowledging that “I will not be the premier after June 7th”.
Kathleen Wynne, who has been in the Ontario Legislature for the past 15 years, serving as premier since 2013, said “I will no longer be Ontario’s Premier. And I’m okay with that. Because, as I’ve said, it’s not about me. It’s about the people of this province. It’s about their well being.”
But Wynne did say she hopes people will elect enough Liberal MPPs on Thursday’s election to stave off a majority government win for either Doug Ford’s PC Party or Andrea Horwath’s NDP.
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With a majority government Doug Ford would have too free a hand. This is a man who has promised to cut $40 billion out of services & pretends it can be done without cutting a single job or harming our hospitals or our schools.
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) June 2, 2018
“With a majority government Doug Ford would have too free a hand. This is a man who has promised to cut $40 billion out of services & pretends it can be done without cutting a single job or harming our hospitals or our schools.”
“People worry about what will happen to our economy if the NDP form a majority government with nothing to hold them back. People worry that the NDP will raise taxes on small businesses, that they will push job creation lower,” Wynne said in her remarks.
She concluded saying she was going to work as hard as she can to elect as many Liberals as possible, including herself as she campaigns for reelection in her Toronto riding of Don Valley West.
Ford didn’t offer anything in terms of publicized statements about Wynne’s press conference, but Horwath was scathing in her response to the premier, saying she’s basically giving up on the fight against “Doug Ford’s cuts”.
Kathleen Wynne has abandoned the fight against Doug Ford's cuts. And her request today for a minority government is a demand that she be allowed to continue to hold the power at Queen’s Park – something voters have already rejected. #OnElxn #onpoli
— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) June 2, 2018
Horwath is scheduled to have a rally with NDP candidates and supporters on Sunday, June 3 in downtown Toronto.
This may only be the second time in Canadian history that a sitting leader of a provincial party has basically admitted she or he is not winning an election they were campaigning in. The last person to do so was former BC premier Ujjal Dosanjh, who led the then-NDP government to only 2 seats in the 2001 BCprovincial election.
At this point Liberals have to ask themselves: do I ever bother voting for my party if my leader has basically given up the fight? Polling aggregates and projections for weeks have been showing the PC’s leading with the most seats with the NDP forming the Official Opposition.
If you think about it, why would you allow Liberals to hold the balance of power in a minority government, when 80 per cent voters have already rejected them retaining power anyway? You’d be better off electing Green MPPs.
The Tories’ advantage is due to the efficiency of how their vote is distributed across the province. But are there enough “progressive” votes that the NDP can pilfer off Liberals to pull off the most unlikely upset in Ontario election history?
There’s only five more days until Election Day. We’ll find out then.