Ontario's Green Party, which failed to capture a single seat in Thursday's provincial election, was hurt by strategic voting, says party leader Mike Schreiner.
"I think we've captured the hearts and minds of people in here Guelph and across the province. But we just couldn't overcome strategic voting and the fear of electing Hudak and his 100,000-job cut program," said Schreiner, who ran in the riding of Guelph.
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Despite not winning any seats, the Greens captured 4.8 per cent of the popular vote, an increase of 1.8 percentage points compared to the 2011 election, according to preliminary results released by Elections Ontario. In total, the party received 107,345 more votes than it did in the 2011 election.
In Guelph, Schreiner placed a close third, 998 votes behind Progressive Conservative Anthony MacDonald. But MacDonald was well back of Liberal Liz Sandals, who was re-elected to the seat by margin of 10,770 votes.
Sandalsis the Liberal education minister and has held the riding for 11 years.
For his part, Schreiner is confident the Greens can build on their efforts in this election.
"I think we've laid the foundation for future success, and we certainly don't have the same level of capacity the other three status quo parties have, but we make up for that with passion and honesty, integrity and good public policy," he said.
"We just don't have the financial resources and the long history of people who vote the same way year over year. We'll just keep moving forward, and building the resources we have to succeed. I feel like we've really laid the solid foundation for success."