While the Progressive Conservatives may have won a sweeping victory Thursday night, a sizable majority in Ontario decided not to bother moving toward the election.
The province recorded the lowest voter turnout in history during the 2022 election, with only 43.5 percent of eligible voters voting according to the preliminary election Ontario results.
Of the more than 10.7 million voters registered in the province, this equates to more than 4.6 million votes cast.
This is about 13.5 percent less than the turnout in the 2018 provincial election.
The last time the turnout was below 50 percent was in 2011, when only 48 percent of Ontario’s residents over the age of 18 voted.
Never in the history of Ontario has there been such a low voter turnout.
Vandana Katar, a strategist in the Prime Minister’s Office, attributed the low turnout to a lack of engagement between politicians and Ontario residents, which may have led to a lack of motivation on Election Day.
“I think the voters didn’t understand what they were voting for,” he said Thursday during Nation World News’s Ontario election special. “I think more than negative politics, people don’t want to hear what the other guy isn’t going to do. They want to hear what you’re going to do for yourself. And that goes back to not letting your message out.” and not sharing it”
PC won 40.8% of those votes
According to preliminary results, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives won by only 1.9 million votes, making 83 seats in the legislature.
The New Democratic Party, which formed Ontario’s official opposition on Thursday night, won 23.7 percent of the vote (31 seats), while the Liberals held a marginal base with 23.6 percent of the vote (eight seats).
The Green Party received about six percent of the vote, resulting in a seat in the legislature.
Speaking to reporters in Etobicoke on Friday morning, Ford was not concerned with the low turnout, reiterating that Ontarians made a strong choice on election day.
“I think it is quite clear that the people have given us a mandate with 83 seats and we are going to focus on our mandate. We traveled to this province for the last four to five weeks, setting a clear direction. ”
Ford also said he would not focus on election reform, an item that other parties touched on in their campaign platforms. He said the system has worked “for over 100 and a few odd years.”
“It will continue to work in the same way,” he told reporters.