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article imageOntario PCs have 86 percent plus chance of winning a majority

By Ken Hanly     Jun 5, 2018 in Politics
Toronto - Just two days before the vote, the New Democratic Party (NDP) seems to be stalled or even declining in the polls while the Progressive Conservative's (PC) chance of winning a majority or the most seats with a minority is well over 90 percent.
Ontario poll tracker results updated to June 5
In the latest polls the marginal lead in the popular vote that the NDP had recently has evaporated. The PCs are ahead with 37.6 of the vote in the poll averages while the NDP now has just 36.1 percent. The Liberals have 19.9 percent with the Greens 5.0 percent. Others have 1.4 percent.
The PC's have gained 0.7 percent since the last update while the NDP has lost 0.9 almost a full percentage point. The Liberals are up slightly 0.2 percent. The Greens and other parties are unchanged. The NDP needs to garner more support from Liberals, Greens and other parties if they want to stop Ford and the PCs but the polls show no sign of this as yet. Perhaps the election day poll will. Many Liberals and Greens surely want to prevent Ford from winning a majority but so far there is no sign of that happening.
The NDP needs to have considerably more of the popular vote than the PC's to hope to win over the Ford team. However, the PC's now have a marginal lead over the NDP. The PC vote is much more efficient than that of the NDP in winning seats. Although the Liberals gained marginally they are still predicted only to win two seats. In the Greater Toronto Area-Hamilton-Niagara area the PC's are expected to win twice as many seats as the NDP even though the PC lead in the popular vote is quite modest.
The PC's are now tied with the NDP in the southwest in the popular vote. They are ahead in eastern Ontario as well. The Liberals have some strength in eastern Ontario and Toronto but virtually every Liberal seat is in danger of being lost. The Liberals need eight seats to be recognized as an official party. This seems unlikely to happen even in spite of the plea of leader Katherine Wynne to elect Liberals to keep the PC or NDP from "extreme actions".
The PC's are now predicted to win 74 seats to just 48 for the NDP and as mentioned two for the Liberals. The Greens and other parties are not expected to win any seats.
The odds of Ford and the PCs forming a majority government are now 86.5 percent. The probability of the PCs winning the most seats but not a majority is just 5.2 percent. There is only a 4.9 percent chance of the NDP forming a majority and a 2.8 percent chance that it win the most seats but not a majority.
It is only the poll on june 7th that counts ultimately, but should the NDP win it would be a surprise given the present polls. There is likely to be at least one more poll tracker update. Perhaps it will show that the NDP has a better chance than the polls posted today indicate.
Do the Liberals want Ford to win?
When Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne threw in the sponge and admitted she would not be premier after June 7th, she advised Liberal voters to elect enough Liberals to keep the PC's and NDP in line and not pass legislation that was too extreme. Although the Liberal vote has increased in the last update the party still stands to win only two seats. The likelihood that the PCs will win a majority is quite strong so the Liberals will not be able to stop Ford's policies being implemented in any event.
Many Liberals no doubt want to stop Ford. Wynne could have easily advised Liberal voters to vote for the NDP where they have a chance of winning and the Liberals do not. This would help stop Ford but would not hurt the Liberals chances of winning more seats. Yet she did not do that. By not doing so it could be argued she is helping Ford.
A recent blog post by David Law argues that the best case scenario for the Liberals is for Ford to win. If the NDP were to win this would legitimize the party as the progressive alternative to the Liberals To have a chance next time the Liberals must appear to be an electable alternative next time around for progressive voters. Wynne can't come out and say Liberals should vote Conservative so she says the next best thing "vote Liberal".
Law concludes: "One thing seems sure: if you don't want to wake up to "Premier Doug Ford" on Friday, you probably should not follow Wynne's advice on Thursday."
Law seems correct about this. However, even if Liberals do follow her advice it seems highly likely that the NDP will become the opposition and the likely legitimate alternative to the PCs come the next election.
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