According to Friday’s polls, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals are on the cusp of forming a second majority government.
Liberals are now the only partisans enjoying this election.
Despite some uncomfortable moments, they now seem inexorably moving toward victory. The Progressive Conservative attacks on Mr. McGuinty personally, augmented by the NDP, for a time seemed to have capped Liberal support at a lower level than satisfaction with the direction of the province would suggest.
Over time, it seems that the combined weight of the government’s largely popular record, the unhappy memories many Ontarians have of the Harris government, and the cataclysmic faith-based schools proposal have overwhelmed Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory’s personal popularity and the promise-breaker theme.
Support for the Liberals is just over 40%. Often, that is enough support to deliver a majority government in our multi-party, first past the post system.
You can only shake your head at the magnitude of Progressive Conservative leader John Tory’s strategy gaff. He managed to derail his campaign with an issue (public funding for religious schools) that has displaced Premier McGuinty’s unpopular health tax to become THE campaign issue. (Bill’s post, here, is representative of public opinion.)
Tory is finally expected to make a concession on the issue later this morning. But he was foolish to resist public opinion for so many weeks. Once the momentum begins to fill the other guy’s sails, it is very hard to catch up.