Predictions at this point are futile. A poll was released today in the London Free Press, The Toronto Sun and a few websites, saying the Liberals will take a majority. Just wait. By the weekend, PC leader John Tory's strategy to cut the religious school funding from around his neck will work. This was meant to bring those Conservatives who would have stay away back into the fold. With his base solid, his numbers will jump and we will be looking at polls come this weekend that will place the campaigns very close.
That means the election campaign is really starting today. And, it will be the undecided - that five to 10 per cent of the vote - that will become the focus. The leadership/credibility issue is not dead. It is the one that will certainly hurt McGuinty the most. Frankly, Hampton has the most to gain right now. If the Green Party can suck some votes away, as Ben suggests, then a minority government is possible. Either way, Hampton becomes a serious powerbroker.
But, there is not a central issue of significance.
Locally, who knows. The election is so boring it is painful. But, an interesting note. PC candidate Cathy Galt did not attend an all-candidates debate on Monday at a Cobourg high school. She was out knocking on doors. There are a few ways to read this. Maybe she was out nailing down her supporters or she may be within striking distance of Lou. The only way she will win this is by shaking hands and kissing babies. In other words, retail politics. Lou may be on cruise control, thinking he has the election in the bag. That could be a mistake. The NDP and Green Party will show up to anything that is free publicity. Sorry, but locally they don't have the numbers or the budget to mount a huge campaign.
Where are the questions around the frink and responsible provincial funding? What about containing urban sprawl? How come Belleville gets two new manufacturing plants and Northumberland none? Who is helping the tourism industry? Post-secondary education in Ontario is the most poorly funded per student in Canada, why?etc.....
The Northumberland-Quinte West race is tight. Not time to call anything yet.Any predictions for the election?
Here's mine. The Tories will win - just. The vote will be way down and the base vote will count. The Greens are picking up disaffected liberals thus allowing the tories to squeak in, the NDP are picking up more than the base vote of previous years, thus exacerbating the swing to the tories by means of the liberal lost votes. This riding will defy the liberal swing and go blue, maybe on a recount.