McParland looks at the possibility, and ponders what has changed since the last time it’s happened — 1962. (PM Diefenbaker, Premier Robarts, Mayor Phillips.)
The Forum Research survey found Hudak’s Tories at 41 per cent compared with 26 per cent for Premier Dalton McGuinty’s governing Liberals, 22 per cent for NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and 8 per cent for Green Leader Mike Schreiner. …
The interactive voice response telephone poll — conducted last Tuesday and Wednesday and considered accurate to within 1.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 — found that Hudak’s platform, released last month, is gaining traction.
Entitled Changebook, the 34-page Tory manifesto touts removing the provincial 8 per cent portion of the 13 per cent harmonized sales tax from hydro bills, ending mandatory time-of-use electricity pricing, tightening welfare eligibility rules, and forcing prisoners to work in chain gangs.
The survey found all four of those pledges are popular with voters.
The initial version of the post had a line about Benzie, the Toronto Star’s Queen’s Park beat reporter, being known for writing columns that were Tory press releases — to which my response was, that arguing the Star was Tory-biased comes to this: “in the spectrum of pounding the law, pounding the facts, or pounding the table, this one’s at the table stage, I think.” But that there’s plenty of time left to win a campaign. (In an implicit admission that the critique was just, the line was removed.) My added spoon of sugar was a serious one — the Liberal campaign team is the best one they’ve got, nation-wide.
Ontario’s provincial election is going to be a fascinating one because Hudak is going in with the wind at his back, and with a platform that is more populist than right-wing. (Alas!)
But he’s up against a canny premier who has learned how to win, who has a top-flight campaign team.
Until a few weeks back, my money was still on Premier Dad winning a third term.
I’m now betting on Hudak — I think he’s threaded the needle nicely, and is ready to take power.
But McGuinty is a survivor, and has three whole months left to fight before E-day. (October 6th.)