—PC Leader Tim Hudak
Polls indicated voters were most concerned about the economy, health care, and taxes in the face of economic uncertainty and a ballooning deficit. Lucy Martin has more.
Fifty-four was last night's magic number. That's how many seats any party had to capture to control the provincial parliament in this scheduled election.
Dalton McGuinty's Liberals had held a solid 70 seats. But as of this morning, they hold just 53. McGuinty made the best of it in his victory speech on CBC:
“We have, in fact succeeded in our goal of electing an experienced Liberal government.”
But McGuinty must now govern cautiously to avoid being outvoted by the other two parties combined.
Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak led his party to a 12-seat jump.
Hudak's concession speech acknowledged that he fell short of pre-election expectations, losing the lead he'd once held in opinion polls:
“And although the result is not the one that we'd hoped for, we do accept it.”
But Hudak's second place showing will have an impact.
“It is very clear that the people of Ontario have put Dalton McGuinty on a much shorter leash,” said Hudack.
This was McGuinty's third win since becoming Premier in 2003. The New Democratic Party, lead by Andrea Horwath, also made gains, picking up 7 seats overall.