Despite low polling numbers across the province, Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne should have no problem holding on to her home riding of Don Valley West on June 7.
Midtown Toronto, as a whole, is the Liberal stronghold that will avoid falling into opponents’ hands, says Grace Skogstad, political science professor at the University of Toronto.
“There’s been a pretty healthy majority for the Liberals in the last election for [midtown] ridings for some time,” Skogstad said in a mid-May phone interview. “It would take a major upset for the [Progressive] Conservatives to win those ridings.”
Kathleen Wynne first won her riding for the Liberals in 2003 by ousting incumbent David Turnbull, taking 52 percent of the vote. She went on to win three more elections after that with the PCs following by 11 to 27 percent.
However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a strong challenge from energy executive Jon Kieran this time. He’ll be representing the Progressive Conservatives in the riding and his background in energy makes him an interesting choice to run against Wynne.
The sale of Hydro One, the $6.2-million salary of its CEO, and the Liberal government’s gas plant scandal will be under the microscope during the campaign.
“If you look at the popular vote, [Wynne] did really win by a fair bit,” Skogstad said. “What might happen is Liberals will stay home because they cannot bring themselves to vote for her again.”
The last candidate nominated in Don Valley West was Amara Possian for the New Democratic Party. She announced her candidacy on May 15, but the selection officially took place on May 10. She’s been an advocate for strategic voting in the past, working as a campaign manager for Leadnow.ca.
The Green Party will send public relations professional Morgan Bailey into the fray as its representative. He’s worked as a communications officer at the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.
“What you are going to see in these ridings is the Greens picking up a percentage of the vote,” Skogstad said. “You’ll find that people say that they don’t like any of the other parties.”
Rounding out the candidates are Libertarian John Kittredge, who has run in the riding of Toronto-St. Paul’s in the past, and Patrick Geoffrey Knight for the Canadian Economic Party.
During the last Ontario general election in 2014, Wynne took 57 percent of the vote in the riding, with PC candidate David Porter drawing 30 percent and NDPer Khalid Ahmed picking up just under eight percent.
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