Voters at long last fed up with Grit smugness

In 1993, all that remained was a party of two when Tory Prime Minister Kim Campbell went down to a stunning defeat in a Liberal sweep.

Campbell was toast after barely four months in office.

Now history may be set to repeat itself with the provincial Liberals.

According to a new Forum Research poll released exclusively to the Toronto Sun, the Liberal party under the leadership of Premier Kathleen Wynne stands to be eaten alive in June of 2018, left barely clinging to life with seven seats and third-party status.

The poll results indicate that if an election were to be held today, the Progressive Conservatives (PCs) would sweep the province with 86 seats (up from the current 29) and the NDP would win 29 (from the current 20).

The poll also shows that only 9% felt Wynne would make the best premier.

It’s uncertain from the polling numbers whether Wynne herself will be run out of office in Don Valley West, although by rights she should for what has happened to Ontario under her watch.

But one thing is clear: Voters are at long last fed up with the smug Liberals, although one wonders why it took 14 years of corruption, waste and mismanagement for voters to reach this point.

Certainly there has been no end to Liberal incompetence.

Still, I’m not surprised at all what Wynne has done to Ontario, given how she handled balancing the books when a Toronto school trustee in 2000 (she ignored the idea).

Now when her popularity is in freefall, there seems to be no end to the ways the premier intends to devise to try to buy back voter support.

The 17% cut in hydro rates was followed by this week’s announcement to give upwards of 210,000 Ontario students free grants under OSAP.

Still, as I’ve repeatedly discovered in the world of politics, voters don’t necessarily vote in a particular party, they typically send another party packing.

(Witness what has happened south of the border with Donald Trump, a huge backlash in response to Barack Obama’s ineptitude.)

The fact that the poll shows 44% “do not know” what they think of PC Leader Patrick Brown (27% approve and 29% disapprove) — and 36% approve of NDP Leader Andrea Horwarth — should be very concerning to the PC party.

Brown, while seemingly hardworking and tremendously focused on the ground game (networking around the province), still isn’t seen as standing for much and does not, in my view, possess the warmth or approachability of Horwath.

And as we observed in elections gone by, the PCs have a tremendous knack of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Toronto Sun by Sue-Ann Levy

March 31st 2017

@SueAnnLevy

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