THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Provincially if the pollsters are right, Doug Ford is cruising to a majority government on June 2nd.
338Canada has the Ontario Progressive Conservatives headed to 81 seats, the Ontario New Democrats at 28 seats, the Ontario Liberals at 16 seats, and the Green Party holding at one seat.
63 seats are needed for a majority.
The popular vote is going at 38 per cent for the Progressive Conservatives with a +/- 4% margin of error. The Liberals are at 27 per cent with a +/- 3% margin of error. The New Democrats are at 23 per cent with a +/- 3% margin of error.
The news can’t be positive for either Steven Del Duca, the Liberal leader or Andrea Horwath the New Democrat leader.
338Canada is showing that the PCs are at 32% +/-5, the Liberals at 17% +/-3, the New Democrats at 34% +/-3%.
However the only poll that counts for sure is the one that counts all the votes in the ballot boxes. It will be June 2nd when Ontario voters learn for certain who the next Premier of the province will be.
What Will Happen in Thunder Bay?
In Thunder Bay-Superior North, Shelby Ch’ng is seeking to hold the seat for the Ontario Liberals. Peng You, who led the pack of Councillors-at-Large in the last civic election is running for the Progressive Conservatives. The New Democrat candidate is second time challenger Lise Vaugeois, who ran a strong second last provincial election.
The Liberals are of course confident, after Michael Gravelle held the seat for decades the feeling is the Liberal machine is going to be there for one more time.
Counting out Peng You or Lise Vaugeois however would be a possible mistake.
The Progressive Conservatives have not won in Thunder Bay since Mickey Hennessy held the south-side Fort William Riding from 1977 to 1987.
In Thunder Bay-Atikokan, Judith Monteith-Farrell is hoping to hold the seat for the New Democrats. Monteith-Farrell beat former Liberal cabinet minister Bill Mauro by 81 votes four years ago.
Thunder Bay Atikokan has been one of the tightest races in Ontario over the past several elections. In 2007 Bill Mauro captured the win in a 50 vote topping of NDP candidate John Rafferty.
While many seem to feel the riding will go either Liberal or New Democrat, there is a little piece perhaps worth considering, in the last federal election the Conservatives were a strong second, and perhaps despite running a grassroots based campaign, except for the votes that went to the people’s party the Conservatives could have won the seat federally.
Kevin Holland has been running a strong campaign, basically following a grass-roots door-knocking approach coupled with a very strong social media presence. Holland has a lot of strength across the rural parts of the riding and the Liberal candidate was announced just at the start of the election.
This election campaign has been different. A lot of the efforts have been directed by head offices of the leaders.
There have also been a noted shift to using social media to reach out to people. Some of that has been likely COVID related, and some has been possibly weather related.
Holland has been reportedly getting some significant Facebook and Youtube traction on an introduction video over the past couple of days.
Does that mean people are thinking on their vote? Only time will tell.
Many are telling NetNewsLedger that their concern is Thunder Bay not having a voice in government if the Progressive Conservatives form a majority.
Both the Progressive Conservative Leader and Liberal Leader have been in Thunder Bay.
The New Democrat Leader had a planned visit which was cancelled due to COVID and then a second visit last weekend which didn’t happen due to plane problems.
If there is a riding in Ontario to watch it could well be Thunder Bay-Atikokan.