Dalton McGuinty's Giant Sigh of Relief
Hoskins (Lib) - 47% (--)
Levy (PC) - 29% (+2%)
Heller (NDP) - 17% (+1%)
Chopik (GP) - 5% (-3%)
Ho hum. Toss in the low voter turn-out (I'd project it out to be about 33% when all the votes are counted) and the fact that the Liberals didn't have to face a Wild Rose Alliance candidate, and this looks like just a run of the mill Liberal hold.
But the ingredients were all in place for an upset. Consider:
1. A long time, high profile, popular incumbent leaves office
2. A two-term government with a comfortable majority (safe to "send a message")
6. Did I mention HST?
7. A new Tory leader
And, yeah, the former Liberal MPP is facing manslaughter charges.
So this could have been a disaster for McGuinty. Instead, he gets a convincing win, which should stem any momentum Tim Hudak may have been building, and earn McGuinty a far more favourable narrative than he would have gotten had St. Paul's fallen.
Oh, and lost in all the above analysis is the fact that a great humanitarian, Dr. Eric Hoskins, is now an MPP. This is a guy who has given his life to helping heal children in war zones around the world. I was door knocking tonight with a University friend of Eric's who first met him in Ethiopia, and he couldn't stop saying great things to say about Eric. Quite simply, this man is in politics for all the right reasons, and we need more people like Eric Hoskins involved in the political process. So maybe it's best to look past the spin and just focus in on that.