Elections are stressful for political parties and candidates – though more so for some than others.
In Ontario last Thursday’s vote, 83 Progressive Conservatives, 31 New Democrats, eight Liberals, one Green and one Independent were elected to Queen’s Park.
Some races were real nail-biters, others a total jerk.
Nineteen of Ontario’s 124 riding saw winners differing from their nearest rival with a vote share of less than five percent. On the other hand, 21 competitions were won by a huge margin of over 30 percent.
Early election Ontario data showed that the closest race, both in terms of vote share and raw vote total, was in Barry-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. PC Incumbent Doug Downey defeated Liberal challenger Jeff Lehman by just 1.6 percent, or 609 votes.
Downey served as the province’s attorney general in the government of Premier Doug Ford, while Lehman is the mayor of Barrie. Public voting put the two candidates face-to-face on Election Day.
In the end, the result was much tougher than in 2018 when Downey won the riding with a 16.5 percent vote share.
Here’s a look at the 10 toughest contests of the election:
Last week’s election was decided by the lowest turnout in Ontario history. According to Elections Ontario, only 43.03 percent of eligible voters voted, compared to 57 percent in 2018. This time around 1.2 million fewer voters went to the polls.
The competition also actually saw fewer close races. In 2018, nine ridings were ultimately judged by a vote share of 1.6 percent or less, five of which were less than one percent. Three rides – Scarborough-Guildwood, Thunder Bay-Atikokan and Brampton Center – won by less than 100 votes total.
The biggest setbacks in this election were also somewhat more subdued than in 2018.
For the second time in a row, the biggest margin of victory came at Renfrew-Nipising-Pembroke, a reliable PC stronghold since 2003. John Yakabusi won by 44 percent, certainly commanding but well below the 52.5 percent margin he achieved last time.
The largest total vote share (aside from the margin of victory) won by a single candidate in the election was 64.9 percent by PC George Pirie in Timmins.
Piri took the seat from Gilles Bisson, who had been the longest-serving NDP MPP in the province since he was first elected in 1999.
Here’s a look at the top 10 biggest wins from last week’s election.