2018 Ontario general election

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Ontario general election, 2018

← 2014 June 7, 2018 (2018-06-07) 43rd →

124 seats of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
63 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Turnout56.67% (Increase5.38pp)[1]
  First party Second party
  Doug Ford in Toronto - 2018 (41065995960) (cropped).jpg Horwath infobox.PNG
Leader Doug Ford Andrea Horwath
Party Progressive Conservative New Democratic
Leader since March 10, 2018 March 7, 2009
Leader's seat Etobicoke North Hamilton Centre
Last election 28 seats, 31.25% 21 seats, 23.75%
Seats before 27 18
Seats won 76 40
Seat change Increase49 Increase22
Popular vote 2,326,632 1,929,649
Percentage 40.50% 33.59%
Swing Increase9.25pp Increase9.84pp

  Third party Fourth party
  Hon Kathleen Wynne MPP Premier of Ontario (cropped2).jpg MikeSchreinerGuelphFeb2012 (cropped).jpg
Leader Kathleen Wynne Mike Schreiner
Party Liberal Green
Leader since January 26, 2013 May 16, 2009
Leader's seat Don Valley West Guelph
Last election 58 seats, 38.65% 0 seats, 4.84%
Seats before 55 0
Seats won 7 1
Seat change Decrease48 Increase1
Popular vote 1,124,218 264,487
Percentage 19.57% 4.60%
Swing Decrease19.08pp Decrease0.24pp

Ontario general election 2018 - Results by Riding.svg
Popular vote by riding. As this is an FPTP election, seat totals are not determined by popular vote, but instead by the result in each riding. Riding names are listed at the bottom.

Premier before election

Kathleen Wynne


Doug Ford
Progressive Conservative

The 2018 Ontario general election was held on June 7, 2018, to elect the 124 members of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario.[2] The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, led by Doug Ford, won a majority government with 76 of the 124 seats in the legislature. The Ontario New Democratic Party, led by Andrea Horwath, formed the Official Opposition. The Ontario Liberal Party, led by incumbent Premier Kathleen Wynne, lost official party status in recording both the worst result in the party's 161-year history and the worst result for any incumbent governing party in Ontario. The Green Party of Ontario won a seat for the first time in their history, while the Trillium Party of Ontario lost its single seat gained by a floor-crossing during the 41st Parliament. Twenty-four other parties and numerous independent candidates also received votes.


Redistribution of seats[edit]

The Electoral Boundaries Act, 2015[3] increased the number of electoral districts from 107 to 122, following the boundaries set out by the federal 2013 Representation Order for Ontario, while preserving the special boundaries of the 11 seats in Northern Ontario set out in the 1996 redistribution.

The Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission, appointed in 2016,[4] recommended the creation of the additional districts of Kiiwetinoong and Mushkegowuk—James Bay, carved out from the existing Kenora—Rainy River and Timmins—James Bay ridings, which accordingly raised the total number of seats to 124.[5][6] This was implemented through the Representation Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017.[7]

The new districts have been criticized as undemocratic, as they have a population of around 30,000 people compared with over 120,000 people in some southern Ontario constituencies. National Post columnist Josh Dehaas suggested that the small population sizes of the ridings might violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[8]

In September 2017, a research firm analyzed the impact of redistribution if the boundaries had been in effect for the previous election.[9]

Change of fixed election date[edit]

Under legislation passed in 2005, Ontario elections were to be held on "the first Thursday in October in the fourth calendar year following polling day in the most recent general election", subject to the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario's power to call an election earlier.[10] As the current government had a majority, the passage of a non-confidence motion was not a likely option for calling an early election, though Premier Kathleen Wynne stated in June 2015 that she would likely advise to dissolve the Legislature in spring 2018 rather than in October of that year in order to avoid any conflict with municipal elections and take advantage of better weather and longer days.[11]

To put this on a statutory footing, in October 2016 Attorney General of Ontario Yasir Naqvi introduced a bill in the Legislative Assembly which, in part, included moving the election date to "the first Thursday in June in the fourth calendar year following polling day in the most recent general election",[2] and it came into effect in December 2016.[12]

Prelude to campaign[edit]

The Ontario Liberal Party attempted to win their fifth consecutive general election, dating back to 2003. The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario won their first election since 1999, and the Ontario New Democratic Party attempted to win their second election (having previously won in 1990). Numerous other extra-parliamentary political parties also vied for votes.

The Liberals under Kathleen Wynne headed into the 2018 campaign trailing far behind the Progressive Conservatives, led by former Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford. The Liberals' standing with voters had been badly hurt when they partially privatized Hydro One in 2015, after campaigning against it in the 2014 election, as well as rising criticism over "ballooning provincial debt, high electricity prices and costly, politically expedient decisions".[13][14] In early April, the CBC published their analysis of aggregate polls showing that Ford and the Progressive Conservatives were ahead of the other parties averaging 42.1% support, compared to 27.2% for the governing Liberals, 23.4% for the NDP and 5.7% for the Greens[15] and with 11 Liberal MPPs announcing they would not be running for re-election or having already resigned their seats in the months leading up to the election.[16]

According to Wynne, voters were offered a "stark choice", between "cutting and removing supports from people" with "billions in cuts", which she alleged the Progressive Conservatives would do if they won the election, and expanding investments in social programs such as prescription drugs and childcare, which the Liberal platform promised.[17]

In March 2018, the Liberals tabled a pre-election budget in the provincial legislature which promised billions of dollars in new spending for free childcare and expanded coverage for dental care but replaced the government's previous balanced budget with a $6.7 billion deficit projected to last until 2024–2025.[18] PC leader Doug Ford called the budget a "spending spree".[19]

Mood of the voters[edit]

According to Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt, voters were motivated by a desire for change—such desire being more driven by emotion than by ideology—and one researcher estimated that more than half of the electorate was undecided in who they were likely to vote for.[20] The Huffington Post reported that half of voters were basing their vote intentions on how best to block the party they oppose.[21]

In February 2018, Campaign Research conducted a gap analysis on voter intentions in Ontario, and determined the following:

Voter gap analysis by party (February 2018)[22]
Liberal PC NDP Highlights
  • PCs had the lowest proportion of respondents (51%) not willing to vote for them at all, while the Liberals had the highest such proportion (64%)
  • At 13%, the Liberals' "hard support" was only half that for the PCs
  • For PCs, the strength of "hard support" increases with age, and older demographics tend to be more reliable voters
  • Conversely, such support for the Liberals and NDP significantly declines with age, with almost ¾ of those aged 55+ not willing to vote for them at all

     = Not voting for party; not considered
     = Not voting for party; shared consideration
     = Not voting for party; exclusive consideration
     = Will vote for party; others considered
     = Will vote for party; no others considered


76 40 7 1
Progressive Conservative New Democratic Liberal Grn

Elections Ontario used electronic vote tabulator machines from Dominion Voting Systems for counting the ballots. Tabulators were deployed at 50 per cent of polling stations at a cost of CA$32,000,000.[23][24] This election was the first time Ontario used vote counting machines for a provincial election, although tabulators have been used in Ontario civic elections for more than 20 years, and also in a 2016 by-election in Whitby-Oshawa. The original paper ballots marked by voters will be kept for a year along with the digital scans of each ballot by the tabulator.[24]

Each dot represents five-thousand votes for the party of the associated colour. Data is based on individual riding results. Dots are placed at random positions within the ridings that they belong to.
Party Votes Seats
Progressive Conservative 2,326,632
Increase 9.25pp
76 / 124 (61%)
New Democratic 1,929,649
Increase 9.84pp
40 / 124 (32%)
Liberal 1,124,218
Decrease 19.08pp
7 / 124 (6%)
Green 264,487
Decrease 0.24pp
1 / 124 (0.8%)

Detailed analysis[edit]

e • d Unofficial Results - Elections to the 42nd Parliament of Ontario (2018)[25]
Political party Party leader MPPs Votes
Candidates 2014 Dissol. 2018 ± # % ± (pp)
Progressive Conservative Doug Ford 124 28 27 76 49Increase 2,326,632 40.50% 9.25Increase
New Democratic Andrea Horwath 124 21 18 40 22Increase 1,929,649 33.59% 9.84Increase
Liberal Kathleen Wynne 124 58 55 7 48Decrease 1,124,218 19.57% 19.08Decrease
Green Mike Schreiner 124 1 1Increase 264,487 4.60% 0.24Decrease
Libertarian Allen Small 117 42,820 0.75% 0.06Decrease
None of the Above Greg Vezina 42 16,149 0.28% 0.19Increase
  Independents and no affiliation 32 2 2Decrease 8,226 0.15% 0.07Increase
Trillium Bob Yaciuk 26 1 1Decrease 8,089 0.14% 0.13Increase
Northern Ontario Trevor Holliday 10 5,912 0.10% 0.08Increase
Consensus Ontario Brad Harness 10 2,682 0.05% New
Freedom Paul McKeever 14 2,566 0.04% 0.22Decrease
Ontario Party Jason Tysick 5 2,316 0.04% New
Ontario Moderate Party Yuri Duboisky 16 2,193 0.04% 0.03Increase
Communist Dave McKee 12 1,471 0.03% 0.02Decrease
Canadians' Choice Party Bahman Yazdanfar 5 1,239 0.02% 0.01Decrease
Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda Queenie Yu 3 1,078 0.02% New
Ontario Alliance Joshua E. Eriksen 3 802 0.01% New
New People's Choice Party Daryl Christoff 3 634 0.01% New
Special Needs Hilton Milan 5 631 0.01%
People's Political Party Kevin Clarke 6 628 0.01% 0.01Decrease
Confederation of Regions vacant 2 386 0.01%
Stop Climate Change Ken Ranney 2 340 0.01% New
Go Vegan Paul Figueiras 2 256 0.02Decrease
Social Reform Party Abu Alam 2 237 New
Cultural Action Party Arthur Smitherman 3 215 New
Multicultural Party of Ontario Wasyl Luczkiw 2 191 New
Party of Objective Truth Derrick Matthews 2 176 New
Canadian Economic Party Patrick Knight 2 151 New
Pauper John Turmel 2 112
  Vacant 4
Total 825 107 107 124 5,744,486 100.00%
Turnout 58.00% 6.70Increase

Regional analysis[edit]

Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario – seats won by region (2018)
Party Toronto 905 Belt Ham/Niagara Central East Midwest Southwest North Total
Progressive Conservative 11 21 6 10 11 9 4 4 76
New Democratic 11 4 7   2 2 6 8 40
Liberal 3       3     1 7
Green           1     1
Total 25 25 13 10 16 12 10 13 124

Events leading up to the election (2014–2018)[edit]

June 12, 2014 The Liberal Party under Kathleen Wynne wins a majority government in the 41st Ontario general election. Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak announces his intention to step down following the selection of his successor.[26]
July 2, 2014 Tim Hudak resigns as leader of the Progressive Conservatives.[27] Simcoe—Grey MPP Jim Wilson is named interim leader.[28]
July 24, 2014 The Liberals pass their May 1 budget in its final reading.
May 9, 2015 Patrick Brown, the Conservative federal MP for Barrie, is elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.[29]
September 24, 2015 Ontario Provincial Police lay charges in relation to the Sudbury by-election scandal.[30]
November 1, 2016 Ontario Provincial Police announce charges under the provincial act against Gerry Lougheed and Patricia Sorbara (CEO and director of the 2018 Liberal campaign) for alleged bribery during a 2015 byelection.[31] Sorbara announced that she will step down from the campaign.[32]
January 24, 2018 CTV News reports that Progressive Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown is accused by two women of committing sexual misconduct. Brown denies the allegations.[33]
January 25, 2018 Patrick Brown resigns as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.[34][35]
January 26, 2018 Progressive Conservative Party caucus chooses Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli as interim leader.[36]
March 10, 2018 Doug Ford is elected leader of the Progressive Conservatives on the third ballot of the party's leadership election.[37] Fedeli continues as Leader of the Opposition for legislative purposes until the election due to Ford not having a seat in the Legislature.[38]
April 11, 2018 First Leaders Debate hosted by the Jamaican Canadian Association. Andrea Horwath, Mike Schreiner, and Premier Kathleen Wynne were in attendance. Doug Ford chose not to attend.[39]
April 16, 2018 The Ontario NDP release their full election platform.[40]
May 7, 2018 First televised debate hosted by CityNews: Toronto-focused debate with Ford, Horwath and Wynne[41]
May 9, 2018 Electoral Writ issued.[42]
May 11, 2018 Leaders' debate in Parry Sound.[43]
May 17, 2018 Candidate nominations close at 2 PM local time.[44]
May 26, 2018 Advance voting starts at voting locations and returning offices.[45][46]
May 27, 2018 Second televised debate, moderated by Steve Paikin and Farah Nasser, held at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto and aired on CBC, CTV, Global, TVO, CPAC, CHCH and other outlets. Attended by Wynne, Ford, and Horwath.[47]
May 30, 2018 Advance voting ends at advance voting locations.[45]
June 1, 2018 Advance voting ends at returning offices.[45]
June 2, 2018 Premier Wynne concedes that the Liberals will not win the election.[48][49]
June 6, 2018 Special ballot voting at returning office or through home visit ends at 6:00 PM EST.[45]
June 7, 2018 Election day. Fixed-date of the 2018 provincial election.

Campaign period[edit]


2018 Ontario election – issues and respective party platforms[50][51][52]
Issue Liberal PC NDP
  • Standing by its last budget's assertion of six consecutive deficits, with a return to balance in 2024–25
  • The Province will have a deficit in the government's first year. Based on Ford's campaign promises, economists estimate there will be five consecutive deficits between $8 billion and $6 billion.[53]
  • An audit will be conducted into the previous government's spending.
  • There will be five consecutive deficits of between $5 billion and $2 billion.
  • Proceed with last budget's simplification of rate structure for personal income tax
  • Raise taxes on cigarettes by $4 per carton
  • Increase taxes on people making over $95,000 per year
  • Corporate income tax to be reduced from 11.5% to 10.5%
  • Eliminate income tax entirely for minimum-wage earners
  • Repeal the present cap and trade program
  • Oppose federally mandated carbon pricing
  • Reduce middle-class income tax rates by 20%
  • Reduce the small business income tax rate
  • Reduce gasoline taxes
  • Raise corporate tax rate from 11.5% to 13%
  • Ontarians earning more than $300,000 would see their tax rates rise by two percentage points, or one percentage point for those earning more than $220,000
  • Modernize the curriculum and assessment of schools, from kindergarten to grade 12
  • $3 billion in capital grants over 10 years to post-secondary institutions
  • $16 billion in spending over 10 years on infrastructure and repairs at Ontario's schools
  • Cap kindergarten class sizes at 26 students
  • Abolish standardized EQAO testing
  • Give OSAP-qualified students non-repayable grants instead of loans
  • Remove interest from existing student loans and apply interest that has already been paid to the loan principal
Child care
  • Free child care for all Ontarians aged two-and-a-half to junior kindergarten age, regardless of income
  • A sliding scale of tax rebates, providing up to $6,750 per child under 15 and giving low-income families as much as 75 per cent of their child-care costs
  • Income-based scale for child care:
    • Free child care for families earning under $40,000 annually
    • Average of $12 per day cost for those making over $40,000
Transit and infrastructure
  • $79 billion for various public-transit projects over 14 years, including:
  • Standing by its 2017 plan to defer rate increases through current borrowing
  • Will proceed to sell the Province's remaining 60% interest in Hydro One
  • Cut rates by 12%, over and above the Liberals' current 25% reduction
  • Fire the CEO of Hydro One
  • End cap-and-trade
  • Divert at least 25% of cap-and-trade revenue to help northern, rural and low-income Ontarians adapt to a lower-carbon lifestyle
  • Spend $50 million on a home-efficiency retrofit program
  • Create 30,000 new long-term care beds by 2028
  • Create a government-funded universal pharmacare program for seniors
  • Hire 400 new mental health workers in schools
  • Create 30,000 new long-term care beds by 2028
  • Increase funding for mental health
  • Increase funding for autism treatment by $125 million per year
  • Create a government-funded universal pharmacare program for many prescription medications
  • Create 40,000 new long-term care beds by 2028
  • Create 2,000 new hospital beds
  • Hire 4,500 new nurses
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2019
  • End geographic price variations in car insurance rates
  • Keep the minimum wage at $14 per hour
  • Reduce the minimum price of beer from $1.25 to $1
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2019
  • Impose price controls on gasoline

Party slogans[edit]

Party English French Translation of French (unofficial)
 Liberal "Care over cuts"[55]
 PC "For the People"[56]
"Help is on the way."[57]
 New Democratic "Change for the better"[58] "Changeons pour le mieux"[59] Let's change for the better
 Green "People Powered Change"[60]
 Libertarian "The Party of Choice"[61]


Endorsements received by each party
Type Liberal PC NDP Green No endorsement
Politicians and public figures
Unions and business associations
  • Ontario Convenience Stores Association[86]
  • Ottawa Police Association[87]
  • United Steelworkers Local 2251[88]


Candidate nominations[edit]

In February 2018, the PC leadership overturned the nomination of candidates Karma Macgregor in Ottawa West—Nepean and Thenusha Parani in Scarborough Centre because of irregularities and allegations of ballot stuffing at their nomination meetings.[93] Both candidates denied these claims.[94] The nomination meetings were reorganized, and both candidates lost the nomination at those meetings. However, the PC leadership decided not to overturn the nomination meeting's result in Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, where a similar situation took place, because of an ongoing police investigation on this situation.[95]

In March 2018, the NDP nominated Lyra Evans as their candidate in Ottawa—Vanier. Evans was the first openly transgender candidate nominated by a major party to run in an Ontario general election.[96][97]

Incumbents not running for reelection[edit]

Electoral District Incumbent at dissolution and subsequent nominee New MPP
Brant (now Brantford-Brant)   Dave Levac[98] Ruby Toor   Will Bouma
Glengarry—Prescott—Russell   Grant Crack[99] Pierre Leroux   Amanda Simard
Guelph   Liz Sandals[100] Sly Castaldi   Mike Schreiner
Kenora—Rainy River   Sarah Campbell[101] Glen Archer   Greg Rickford
Kitchener-Conestoga   Michael Harris[102]   Mike Harris Jr.
London North Centre   Deb Matthews[100] Kate Graham   Terence Kernaghan
Markham-Unionville   Michael Chan[99] Amanda Yeung Collucci   Billy Pang
Parkdale—High Park   Cheri DiNovo[103] Bhutila Karpoche   Bhutila Karpoche
Mississauga—Erindale   Harinder Takhar[104] Riding dissolved
Pickering-Scarborough East   Tracy MacCharles[99] Riding dissolved
Scarborough Centre   Brad Duguid[105] Mazhar Shafiq   Christina Mitas
Simcoe North   Patrick Brown[106]   Jill Dunlop
Welland (now Niagara Centre)   Cindy Forster[107][108] Jeff Burch   Jeff Burch
York Centre   Monte Kwinter[109] Ramon Estaris   Roman Baber
York—Simcoe   Julia Munro[110] Caroline Mulroney   Caroline Mulroney
York West (now Humber River—Black Creek)   Mario Sergio[111] Deanna Sgro   Tom Rakocevic

Opinion polls[edit]

Campaign period[edit]

Evolution of voting intentions during the 2018 Ontario provincial election campaign. Plot generated in R from data in the table below. Trendlines are local regressions, with polls weighted by proximity in time and sample size. 95% confidence ribbons represent uncertainty about the regressions, not the likelihood that actual election results would fall within the intervals.

*Includes support for the Green Party

Best Premier and Party Leader Approval Ratings[edit]

Date Firm Best Premier ratings Approval ratings
Ford Horwath Wynne
Ford Horwath Wynne Approve Disapprove Approve Disapprove Approve Disapprove
June 6, 2018 Research Co.   36% 55% 54% 34% 29% 64%
June 2, 2018 Forum Research 27% 31% 17% 27% 55% 41% 34% 23% 65%
June 2, 2018 Abacus Data   25% 48% 42% 20% 21% 56%
May 31, 2018 Research Co. 23% 28% 15% 33% 56% 52% 34% 27% 64%
May 29, 2018 Forum Research 29% 30% 16% 30% 53% 40% 32% 23% 65%
May 29, 2018 Angus Reid 25% 34% 15%  
May 29, 2018 Innovative Research 23% 30% 14% 30% 54% 48% 23% 25% 59%
May 26, 2018 Abacus Data   27% 45% 44% 15% 19% 60%
May 23, 2018 Forum Research 30% 33% 15% 32% 51% 43% 26% 19% 69%
May 23, 2018 Innovative Research 24% 26% 19% 27% 57% 46% 20% 24% 61%
May 22, 2018 Leger 23% 28% 12%  
May 18, 2018 Abacus Data   26% 46% 42% 13% 17% 60%
May 12, 2018 Innovative Research 24% 26% 16% 31% 52% 44% 17% 21% 62%
May 9, 2018 Forum Research   34% 49% 42% 25% 20% 71%

Major Regional Polls – Toronto[edit]

Polling firm Last date
of polling
Link Lib PC NDP Gre Oth Margin
of error
Polling method Lead
Campaign Research May 16, 2018 HTML 27 35 32 5 2 ±2.3 pp 1,871 Online 3
Leaders' debate in Parry Sound (May 11, 2018)
Mainstreet Research May 7, 2018 PDF 31.1 36.6 23.1 5.9 3.4 ±2.19 pp 2,000 IVR 5.5
CityTV Toronto leaders' debate (May 7, 2018)[113]

Pre-campaign period[edit]

Ten-poll average of Ontario opinion polls from June 12, 2014, to the last possible date of the next election on June 6, 2018. Each line corresponds to a political party.


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