Toronto·The Campaigner

After Wynne concedes, Ford ignores it

According to Poll Tracker, all Liberal seats are in danger, which is why Kathleen Wynne will be out Sunday canvassing in her own riding of Don Valley West — a seat she's safely held since 2003. This is your Campaigner for June 3.

Plus lessons learned from the B.C. premier who conceded pre-election

PC Leader Doug Ford notably didn't mention his competitor Kathleen Wynne's concession during his rally in Nepean on Saturday. (Geoff Robins/Canadian Press)

Kathleen Wynne won't win, but eyes have been on her all weekend, as the Liberal leader fights to salvage whatever seats she can for her party. According to Poll Tracker, all Liberal seats are in danger, which is why she will be out canvassing Sunday in her own riding of Don Valley West — a seat she's safely held since 2003.

If she loses there, it will carry some symbolic weight for a premier who has enjoyed a majority government since 2014. The riding has foiled leaders in the past. In 2007, Wynne defeated then-PC leader John Tory to maintain control of the riding. 

Here's where we are on day 26.

Latest from the campaign

The moment

It was a different Doug Ford that hit the stage in Nepean Saturday night. 

Sure, he said the same thing he says at every rally — with digs at hydro rates and calls for change. But he was clearly in his element, looking relaxed and energized. 

The real moment though was what didn't happen. Just hours before, Wynne had conceded the election.

It should have been a moment of triumph for Ford. This is the woman who has been the target of so many of Ford's attacks. Since his election as PC leader in March, he's repeated the same line over and over, that Wynne's days as premier are numbered.

She finally admitted that Saturday. Yet he chose not to talk about it at all.

Noted

B.C.'s former NDP premier Ujjal Dosanjh gave a similar speech to Wynne's ahead of the 2001 election, conceding and predicting big losses for the party. (Jim Young/Reuters)

While Wynne's concession was surprising, it isn't unparalleled in provincial politics.

In 2001, B.C.'s NDP premier Ujjal Dosanjh was in a similar position, conceding a week before election day and anticipating big losses for his party. He asked voters not to split the left vote by voting for the Greens over the NDP

His plea didn't work. Gordon Campbell's Liberals won all but two seats, stripping the NDP of party status.

Riding to watch

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, population 105,335, profile by Andrew Lupton

This oddly shaped riding includes rural areas west and southwest of London and touches the shores of both Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair.

Four years ago, PC candidate Monte McNaughton won the riding by more than 8,000 votes. His NDP rival finished a distant second. Now that the parties find themselves in a two-horse race province-wide, an NDP win in the riding has suddenly emerged as a real possibility.

Todd Case, the NDP candidate trying to unseat McNaughton, served as the mayor of Warwick Township for 17 years.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex NDP candidate Todd Case, NDP leader Andrea Horwath, and sisters Katie and Leslie Woodfinden at Car-Lou Farms in Watford. (Lisa Xing/ CBC News)

Ensuring the survival of rural schools and hospitals, and hydro rates, are among the issues Case says he's hearing on doorsteps. For his part, McNaughton says there's real "momentum" this time around and he's noticed "quadruple" the number of lawn signs with his name on them.

After finishing third in 2014, Mike Radan is once again running for the Liberals. He says, despite what the polls are saying, he's not experiencing a lot of anti-Liberal sentiment from voters.

Poll Tracker

The NDP and the PCs continue to swing back and forth in the popular vote. While Andrea Horwath has the advantage at the moment, the PCs are still favoured to win more seats. Get the full breakdown.

Where the leaders are

  • Ford: Event at Royal Canadian Legion in Kingston (1:30 p.m)
  • Horwath: Rally at Sheraton Centre in Toronto (11:30 a.m.)
  • Schreiner: Speaking at Guelph Sikh Society (12:15 p.m.), ask me anything town hall at Guelph Holiday Inn (6 p.m)
  • Wynne: Event in Richmond Hill (9:15 a.m.), speaking at Sri Ayyappa Samajam of Ontario in Scarborough (11:25 a.m.), event at Casa Loma in Toronto (2 p.m.), canvassing in her Don Valley West riding (4 p.m.), visit to East York Town Centre mall (5:45 p.m.)

We're tracking the Ontario leaders on the campaign trail. See where they have stopped.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Haydn Watters is a roving reporter for Ontario, primarily serving the province's local radio shows. He has worked for CBC News and CBC Radio in Halifax, Yellowknife, Ottawa and Toronto, with stints at the politics bureau and the entertainment unit. He also ran an experimental one-person pop-up bureau for the CBC in Barrie, Ont.

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