In the final campaign weekend for Ontario’s political party leaders, Doug Ford is taking the day off. An Ipsos poll released today found that 40 per cent of respondents said Doug Ford is the best person for the job, marking a one point drop from earlier this month. 29 per cent of respondents said Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath would be the best premier for Ontario, while 22 per cent said the same of Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca. Ford will be back on the trail tomorrow for a rally in London. It appears Ford will wind up the campaign with rallies—he has two more scheduled in Durham and Toronto next week
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was supposed to be in Sault Ste Marie, before heading to Thunder Bay where polling suggests one of the NDP’s two seats may be in play, but a mechanical malfunction forced her to meet with media on the tarmac in Toronto. Horwath had been set to head north earlier in the campaign but the trip had to be cancelled after she contracted COVID-19.
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca is campaigning in Toronto this morning and then heading to the Peterborough, Ont., area and later to Pickering, Ont. Several poll trackers, including CBC, suggest Del Duca may be in trouble in his home riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge.
Meanwhile the province’s newspapers are starting to endorse parties. The Toronto Star is breaking from its traditional support for the Ontario Liberals and instead advising voters to vote for whichever party has the best chance of beating a Conservative, in hope of denying Ford a majority. The Star wrote, “None of the choices are perfect, but for us the best option is to get behind the Liberal party in ridings where they are the main alternative to the PCs (including most of those in and around Toronto and in Ottawa). In ridings where the election is a two-way contest between the PCs and New Democrats, we recommend supporting the NDP. That’s the best way to make sure vote splitting doesn’t hand the PCs another majority, something most Ontarians don’t want.”
The National Post say it the opposite way, writing: “despite a sometimes sleepy election campaign, Ontario’s uncertain economic recovery and skyrocketing cost of living mean the stakes are higher than they have been in a long time. Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative party has shown that it has what it takes to lead the province through uncertain and tumultuous times, and has offered a refreshing change of pace from the 15 years of Liberal rule that preceded it. The Tories deserve to be re-elected.”