We can safely predict that the Liberal Party will improve its position in the Ontario Legislature after the June 2 election. But he can’t save his leader, Steven Del Duca. And the party itself could be in serious trouble.
Let’s take a look at the election scenario in the last days of the campaign.
A lot of people agree that Doug Ford’s progressive conservatives will form the next government. 338Canada.com, which conducts weights and aggregates polls, was up on Sunday with the Conservatives at 38 percent. Philip J. Fournier, who runs the site, anticipates a Conservative majority government of more than 80 seats.
The Tories are likely to dominate the 905, the band of suburban seats around Toronto, named after their area code. A virtual sweep of 905 guarantees victory for either party.
With 27 percent of the popular vote, the Liberals are ahead of the New Democrats, who have 23 percent. But 338 Canadians are estimated to have the NDP taking 25 seats and the Liberals taking only 15, enough to gain party status in the legislature, which they lost after the last election, but still a Away third place result.
This is because the NDP vote is concentrated in city centers and northern Ontario, while the Liberal vote is more evenly spread. This makes things both depressing and tantalizing for liberals.
“NDP vote is highly efficient in the range of 20-25 per cent. So at this point it may overtake the liberals,” Mr. Fournier told me. “However, unlike the liberals, the NDP vote is highly incompetent in the range of 25-30 percent.”
If the Liberals can manage to win a few more points in the popular vote, the vote split at the riding level could start to work in their favor. They can steal a bunch of seats from the PC, create an official opposition and maybe even deprive Conservative leader Doug Ford of a majority government.
But until they overcome that surge, the Liberals appear doomed to fall behind again in third place in the seat count.
There’s even more worrying news for grits. Mr Del Duca wants to enter the legislature through the 905 ride of Vaughan-Woodbridge, which he once held. But he lost the last election by 8,000 votes, and the 338Canadian Riding Projection has shown it to be a toss-up.
Coming third in the number of seats and losing his own ride could cost Mr del Duca the price of leadership.
Since this is Andrea Horvath’s fourth campaign as leader of the NDP, both opposition parties could replace the leaders. If so, which party would be more likely to oust the Progressive Conservatives would depend on which leader each party chose.
For most of the province’s history, the Liberals have been one of the two governing parties, along with the Progressive Conservatives. Most recently, he reigned for 15 years under Premiers Dalton McGinty and Kathleen Wynne.
But the NDP formed the government in 1990 under the leadership of Bob Rai. It is currently the official opposition. After June 2, it may again be the official opposition. If so, whoever wants to donate to the progressive political party most likely to oust the Tories will have good reason to send that money to the NDP instead of the Liberals.
This picture of a liberal crisis may be undeservedly bleak. As my colleague Jeff Gray reports, the Liberal leader has done a good job of paying off the party’s debt and setting a solid platform. If the Grits win back party status, and if Mr del Duca can find a way to get himself into the legislature, he can continue to lead the party and he himself as the governing substitute for the Party PC. can reinstall.
But the strength of a Liberal Party at any state or national level is also its weakness. It caters to a broad coalition of voters, grouped on either side of the political center and committed to a pragmatic, responsible, mildly progressive government.
But that coalition is always in danger of evaporating, if voters decide they want either a more emphatically progressive or emphatically conservative option.
Either with Mr Del Duca or with someone else, the Liberals need to get back in the game. Otherwise, voters may forget about them completely.
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