Ontario general election, 1985

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Ontario general election, 1985
Ontario
1981 ←
May 2, 1985 → 1987

125 seats in the 33rd Legislative Assembly of Ontario
63 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  PC David Peterson (2005).jpg Bob Rae.jpg
Leader Frank Miller David Peterson Bob Rae
Party Progressive Conservative Liberal New Democratic
Leader since January 26, 1985 February 21, 1982 February 7, 1982
Leader's seat Muskoka London Centre York South
Last election 70 34 21
Seats won 52 48 25
Seat change -18 +14 +4
Popular vote 1,343,044 1,377,965 865,507
Percentage 37.0% 37.9% 23.8%
Swing -7.4pp +5.2pp +2.6pp

Premier before election

Frank Miller
Progressive Conservative

Premier-designate

Frank Miller[A]
Progressive Conservative

Diagram of the 1985 election results in the Provincial Legislature

The Ontario general election of 1985 was held on May 2, 1985, to elect members of the 33rd Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, Canada. This election ended 42 years of Progressive Conservative Party rule in Ontario with David Peterson's Liberals eventually forming a government with the support of Bob Rae's NDP.

Prelude[edit]

Near Thanksgiving of 1984, longstanding Premier Bill Davis announced that he would be stepping down as Premier and leader of the Ontario PCs. Davis, in office since 1971, had rung up a string of electoral victories by pursuing a moderate agenda and relying on the skill of the Big Blue Machine team of advisors. Davis, who remained generally popular throughout his term in office, would unveil a surprise legacy project: Full funding for Ontario's separate Catholic school system, which would become known as Bill 30. This decision was supported by both other parties, but was generally unpopular, especially amongst the Tory base.

The subsequent leadership race saw the PC party divide into two rough camps. The moderate and mainly urban wing was represented by second-place finisher Larry Grossman. The more strongly conservative rural faction backed eventual victor Frank Miller. After Miller's victory at the convention the party factions failed to reconcile; especially important was that a number of the mainly moderate members of the Big Blue Machine were pushed aside.

Election[edit]

Despite these problems, the PCs remained far ahead in the polls, and when Miller called an election just six weeks after becoming premier, he was some twenty percentage points ahead of the Liberals. Over the campaign the Tory lead began to shrink as the Liberals waged a highly effective campaign. Partway into the campaign, the separate schools question re-emerged when the Anglican prelate of Toronto, Archbishop Lewis Garnsworthy, held a news conference on the issue where he compared Bill Davis to Adolf Hitler. Garnsworthy was much criticized for his remarks, but the issue was revived, alienating the conservative base, some of whom chose to stay home on election day.

The election held May 2, 1985 ended in a stalemate. The PCs emerged with a much-reduced caucus of 52 seats. The Liberals won 48 seats, but won slightly more of the popular vote. The NDP held the balance of power with 25 seats.

Despite taking 14 seats from the PCs, the result was something of a disappointment for the Liberals, as they felt they had their first realistic chance of winning government in recent memory. The NDP was also disappointed by the election result. It had been nearly tied with the Liberals for popular support for several years, and had hoped to surpass them.

Post-Election[edit]

As the incumbent party, the PCs intended to remain in power with a minority government, as they had done on two occasions under Davis's leadership. Rae and the NDP had little interest in supporting a continuation of PC rule, and began negotiations to reach a supply agreement with the Liberals. Rae and Peterson signed a deal that would see a number of NDP priorities put into law in exchange for an NDP motion of non-confidence in Miller's government, and the NDP's support of the Liberals. The NDP agreed to support a Liberal minority government for two years, and the Liberals agreed not to call an election during that time.

Miller, apprised of negotiations, sounded out a plan to address the province on television two days before the throne speech, disown funding for Catholic schools, and announce he was meeting with the Lieutenant Governor to request an election before a confidence vote could take place.[1] While believing that the Lieutenant Governor would have to call an election if requested before the confidence vote, Miller refused, believing the party's finances to be too fragile for a second campaign, and that repudiating Davis would tear the party apart.[2]

On June 18, 1985, the PCs were defeated on a motion of no confidence introduced by Rae. Lieutenant-Governor John Black Aird then asked Peterson to form a government. Miller resigned eight days later, and Peterson's minority government was sworn in the same day.

Results[edit]

  Party Leader 1981 Elected % change Popular vote
 % change
Progressive Conservative Frank Miller 70 52 -25.7% 37.0% -7.4%
     Liberal David Peterson 34 48 +41.2% 37.9% +4.2%
     New Democratic Bob Rae 21 25 +19.0% 23.8% +2.7%
Libertarian Scott Bell   -   0.4%  
Green     -   0.1%  
Communist Gordon Massie   -   0.1% -0.06%
Freedom none (Robert Metz, President)   -   0.1%  
     Others     -   0.7% -0.1%
Total Seats 125 125 - 100%  

The Revolutionary Workers League fielded one candidate.

Constituency results[edit]

Algoma:

  • (x)Bud Wildman (NDP) 7575
  • Jim Thibert (PC) 3694
  • Bryan McDougall (L) 2995

Algoma—Manitoulin:

  • (x)John Lane (PC) 7174
  • Tom Farquhar (L) 4704
  • Len Hembruf (NDP) 3309

Armourdale:

Beaches—Woodbine:

Bellwoods:

  • (x)Ross McClellan (NDP) 8088
  • Walter Bardyn (L) 6655
  • Bento de Sao Jose (PC) 1964
  • Ronald Rodgers 324

Brampton:

  • Bob Callahan (L) 25656
  • Jeff Rice (PC) 21239
  • Terry Gorman (NDP) 8313
  • Jim Bridgewood (Comm) 531
  • Dave Duqette 500

Brantford:

  • (x)Phil Gillies (PC) 13444
  • Jack Tubman (NDP) 12303
  • Herb German (L) 6533

Brant—Oxford—Haldimand:

  • (x)Robert Nixon (L) 15317
  • Ian Birnie (PC) 5817
  • Irene Heltner (NDP) 3487

Brock:

  • Peter Partington (PC) 9741
  • Bill Andres (L) 9081
  • Robert Woolston (NDP) 3867
  • Brian Dolby (G) 755

Burlington South:

  • Cam Jackson (PC) 16479
  • Doug Redfearn (L) 11822
  • Walter Mukewich (NDP) 10820

Cambridge:

  • (x)Bill Barlow (PC) 12888
  • Alec Dufresne (NDP) 11985
  • Bob Jeffrey (L) 7083

Carleton:

Carleton East:

Carleton—Grenville:

Chatham—Kent:

Cochrane North:

Cochrane South:

  • (x)Alan Pope (PC) 13935
  • Roger Loiselle (NDP) 5662
  • Jim Martin (L) 4002

Cornwall:

  • Luc Guindon (PC) 9430
  • Claude Poirier (L) 6384
  • Steve Corrie (NDP) 5828

Don Mills:

  • (x)Dennis Timbrell (PC) 15481
  • John Atkin (L) 7504
  • Michael Wyatt (NDP) 6153
  • Gary Watson (Ind [RWL]) 1382

Dovercourt:

  • (x)Tony Lupusella (NDP) 6677
  • Gil Gillespie (L) 6600
  • Joe Palozzi (PC) 3564
  • Gordon Massie (Comm) 298

Downsview:

Dufferin—Simcoe:

  • (x)George McCague (PC) 16198
  • Gary Johnson (L) 11822
  • Jeff Koechlin (NDP) 4316

Durham East:

  • (x)Sam Cureatz (PC) 15193
  • Doug Smith (NDP) 9832
  • Steve Ryan (L) 7584

Durham West:

  • (x)George Ashe (PC) 18684
  • Brian Evans (L) 14348
  • Don Stewart (NDP) 8495
  • Eugene Gmitrowicz (Lbt) 911

Durham—York:

  • (x)Ross Stevenson (PC) 14343
  • Don Hadden (L) 9760
  • Margaret Wilbur (NDP) 5440

Eglinton:

Elgin:

  • (x)Ron McNeil (PC) 11816
  • Peter Charlton (L) 8619
  • Gord Campbell (NDP) 5315

Erie:

  • (x)Ray Haggerty (L) 10926
  • Stan Pettit (PC) 5904
  • Shirley Summers (NDP) 3191

Essex North:

  • Pat Hayes (NDP) 7901
  • Jack Morris (L) 6615
  • Jack Menard (PC) 6105
  • Ray Boggs 2925

Essex South:

  • (x)Remo Mancini (L) 11382
  • Paul Setterington (PC) 5098
  • Jeff Totten 4947
  • Paul Hertel (NDP) 267

Etobicoke:

  • (x)Ed Philip (NDP) 16792
  • John Smith (PC) 7573
  • John Genser (L) 6544

Fort William:

  • (x)Mickey Hennessy (PC) 14452
  • Don Smith (NDP) 7071
  • Norris Badanai (L) 4629
  • John MacLennan (Comm) 289

Frontenac—Addington:

Grey:

  • (x)Bob McKessock (L) 16061
  • Case Vanderham (PC) 5875
  • Rhonda Green (NDP) 2402
  • Eric Biggins (Lbt) 306

Grey—Bruce:

  • (x)Eddie Sargent (L) 14883
  • Arlene Wright (PC) 7595
  • Joanne Shaw (NDP) 2340

Haldimand—Norfolk:

  • (x)Gordon Miller (L) 17456
  • Barbara Martindale (PC) 9863
  • Wayne Pierce (NDP) 3821

Halton—Burlington:

  • Don Knight (L) 14991
  • Peter Pomeroy (PC) 14777
  • Doug Hamilton (NDP) 4871
  • Neil Sivertson 665

Hamilton Centre:

Hamilton East:

Hamilton Mountain:

Hamilton West:

  • (x)Richard Allen (NDP) 10182
  • Paul Hanover (L) 9732
  • Anne Jones (PC) 6705
  • Ron Crawford 496
  • Val Hache 97

Hastings—Peterborough:

High Park—Swansea:

  • (x)Yuri Shymko (PC) 9960
  • Elaine Ziemba (NDP) 9630
  • John Rudnicki (L) 5578
  • Bob Cumming (Lbt) 498
  • Robert Seajkowski 244
  • Andrew Scorer (G) 209

Humber:

Huron—Bruce:

Huron—Middlesex:

Kenora:

  • (x)Leo Bernier (PC) 12574
  • Colin Wasacase (NDP) 4025
  • Mark Ducharme (L) 2254

Kent—Elgin:

  • (x)Jim McGuigan (L) 11616
  • Shirley McHardy (PC) 7838
  • Donald Alexander (NDP) 1916

Kingston and the Islands:

Kitchener:

  • David Cooke (L) 14066
  • Don Travers (PC) 9684
  • Tim Little (NDP) 5654
  • Ed Halbach (Ind [Humanist]) 453
  • Albert Norris 157

Kitchener—Wilmot:

Lake Nipigon:

  • Gilles Pouliot (NDP) 5708
  • Jim Files (PC) 4532
  • Michael Power (L) 3448

Lambton:

  • David Smith (L) 10816
  • Bob Boyd (PC) 9956
  • Grant Reynolds (NDP) 1987

Lanark—Renfrew:

Lakeshore:

Leeds:

  • (x)Robert Runciman (PC) 11809
  • Dolores Wing (L) 6748
  • Bob Smith (NDP) 3583
  • Mackie Morrison 741

Lincoln:

  • (x)Philip Andrewes (PC) 12226
  • Gladys Huffman (L) 9004
  • Barbara Mersereau (NDP) 2264
  • Ken Lee 1036

London Centre:

  • (x)David Peterson (L) 13890
  • Bill Rudd (PC) 6714
  • Peter Cassidy (NDP) 4340
  • Michelle McColm (F) 403

London North:

London South:

Middlesex:

Mississauga East:

  • (x)Bud Gregory (PC) 14900
  • Victor Maida (L) 12334
  • Larry Taylor (NDP) 12015

Mississauga North:

Mississauga South:

  • Margaret Marland (PC) 13186
  • Carolynne Siller (L) 11623
  • Barry Stevens (NDP) 4770

Muskoka:

  • (x)Frank Miller (PC) 12723
  • Kenneth McClellan (L) 3036
  • Bob Maguire (NDP) 2836

Niagara Falls:

Nickel Belt:

  • (x)Floyd Laughren (NDP) 8912
  • Evelyn Dutrisac (PC) 5849
  • Trudy Bolduc (L) 2255

Nipissing:

  • (x)Mike Harris (PC) 14900
  • Mike Gauthier (L) 11002
  • Lynne Bennett (NDP) 3984

Northumberland:

Oakville:

Oakwood:

  • (x)Tony Grande (NDP) 10407
  • Joe Ricciuti (L) 9631
  • Harriet Wolman (PC) 4636
  • Mike Sterling (Comm) 327

Oriole:

Oshawa:

  • (x)Mike Breaugh (NDP) 12686
  • Bob Boychyn (PC) 7528
  • Joe Neal (L) 5034

Ottawa Centre:

Ottawa East:

  • (x)Bernard Grandmaitre (L) 14601
  • Kathryn Barnard (NDP) 3971
  • Paul St. Georges (PC) 2257
  • Serge Girard (politician)|Serge Girard 518

Ottawa South:

  • (x)Claude Bennett (PC) 12971
  • Andrew Caddell (L) 11634
  • John Smart (NDP) 8311

Ottawa West:

Oxford:

Parkdale:

  • (x)Tony Ruprecht (L) 12065
  • Richard Gilbert (NDP) 5176
  • Tessie Jew (PC) 2052

Parry Sound:

Perth:

  • (x)Hugh Edighoffer (L) 20040
  • Glynn Coghlin (PC) 6076
  • Warren Ham (NDP) 2796

Peterborough:

  • (x)John Turner (PC) 16878
  • Linda Slavin (NDP) 11941
  • Bill Ayotte (L) 9734
  • John Conlin (Lbt) 461
  • George K. Kerr (G) 212

Port Arthur:

  • (x)Jim Foulds (NDP) 13084
  • Swede Johnson (PC) 9826
  • John Ranta (L) 6169

Prescott and Russell:

  • (x)Jean Poirier (L) 18833
  • Guy Genier (PC) 11038
  • Maurice Landry (NDP) 2625

Prince Edward—Lennox:

  • (x)James Taylor (PC) 10170
  • Gordon Mylks (L) 6918
  • Harry Plummer (NDP) 2307

Quinte:

  • (x)Hugh O’Neil (L) 18988
  • Neil Robertson (PC) 9287
  • Gene Morosan (NDP) 1817

Rainy River:

Renfrew North:

  • (x)Sean Conway (L) 12849
  • Bryan Hocking (PC) 5748
  • Robert Cottingham (NDP) 740

Renfrew South:

Riverdale:

  • David Reville (NDP) 9869
  • Bret Snider (PC) 4590
  • Doug DeMille (L) 3949
  • Maggie Bizzell (Comm) 322
  • Michael Tegtmeyer (G) 192

St. Andrew—St. Patrick:

  • (x)Larry Grossman (PC) 10332
  • Meg Griffiths (NDP) 8373
  • Jim DaCosta (L) 6330
  • Cathy Laurier (Comm) 264
  • Judy Hannon (G) 232

St. Catharines:

Party Candidate Votes % +/-
     Liberal (x)Jim Bradley 20,605 57.94
     Progressive Conservative Elaine Herzog 9,029 25.39
     New Democratic Party Michael Cormier 5,624 15.81
Communist Eric Blair 305 0.86
Total valid votes 35,563 100.00
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 201
Turnout 35,764 61.65

St. David:

St. George:

  • (x)Susan Fish (PC) 11378
  • Diana Hunt (NDP) 10543
  • Joseph Mifsud (L) 9361
  • Michael Beech (Lbt) 1007
  • Karol Siroky (Ind [New Tories]) 186

Sarnia:

  • (x)Andy Brandt (PC) 18651
  • Michael Robb (L) 7438
  • Duncan Longwell (NDP) 3572
  • Margaret Coe (Lbt) 792

Sault Ste. Marie:

Scarborough Centre:

  • William C. Davis (PC) 8890
  • Gerald Lennon (L) 8531
  • Barry Christensen (NDP) 7577

Scarborough East:

  • Ed Fulton (L) 15855
  • Verla Fiveash (PC) 11245
  • Alawi Mohideen (NDP) 4381
  • Jim McIntosh (Lbt) 1402

Scarborough—Ellesmere:

Scarborough North:

  • Alvin Curling (L) 30504
  • Carole Noble (PC) 22644
  • Jerry Daca (NDP) 9072
  • R.J. Austin 1972

Scarborough West:

  • (x)Richard Johnston (NDP) 12889
  • Kurt Christensen (PC) 5994
  • Anthony Judd (L) 4806
  • John MacMillan 544

Simcoe Centre:

Simcoe East:

  • (x)Al McLean (PC) 13371
  • Fayne Bullen (NDP) 11002
  • George MacDonald (L) 7566

Stormont—Dundas—Glengarry & East Grenville:

  • (x)Noble Villeneuve (PC) 13119
  • Bill Dillabough (L) 7036
  • Rudi Derstroff (NDP) 1700

Sudbury:

  • (x)Jim Gordon (PC) 12591
  • Ernie St-Jean (NDP) 7010
  • Chris Nash (L) 6302

Sudbury East:

Timiskaming:

Victoria—Haliburton:

  • (x)John Eakins (L) 15340
  • Murray Fearrey (PC) 11570
  • Art Field (NDP) 3209

Waterloo North:

Welland—Thorold:

  • (x)Mel Swart (NDP) 17065
  • Roy Smith (L) 6027
  • Ed Minchin (PC) 5618

Wellington—Dufferin—Peel:

  • (x)Jack Johnson (PC) 14845
  • Bruce Whiteside (L) 10401
  • Sandy Young (NDP) 6395

Wellington South:

Wentworth:

  • (x)Gordon Dean (PC) 12322
  • June Peace (L) 10337
  • Sharon Lehnert (NDP) 8571
  • Albert Papazian 947

Wentworth North:

Wilson Heights:

Windsor—Riverside:

Windsor—Sandwich:

  • (x)Bill Wrye (L) 10730
  • Paul Forder (NDP) 7583
  • Ron Arkell (PC) 3681
  • Mike Longmoore (Comm) 197

Windsor—Walkerville:

  • (x)Bernard Newman (L) 9130
  • Jane Boyd (PC) 6980
  • Gay Parent (NDP) 6698

York Centre:

  • (x)Don Cousens (PC) 25022
  • Ron Maheu (L) 19776
  • Diane Meaghan (NDP) 7171
  • Stewart Cole 2644

York East:

  • (x)Robert Elgie (PC) 11459
  • Gord Crann (NDP) 9183
  • Omar Chaudhery (L) 6629
  • Ed McDonald (Comm) 929
  • Kathy Sorensen (Lbt) 410

York Mills:

  • (x)Bette Stephenson (PC) 17943
  • Gunnar Tannis (L) 10078
  • Gord Doctorow (NDP) 6872
  • Scott Bell (Lbt) 2339

York North:

York South:

  • (x)Bob Rae (NDP) 16373
  • Horace Hale (L) 6807
  • Toomas Dunapuu (PC) 5321
  • Paul Schulze 1063
  • Lucille Boikoff 402
  • Dusan Kubias (Lbt) 343

York West:

Yorkview:

Post-election changes[edit]

York East (res. Robert Elgie, September 26, 1985), April 17, 1986:

Cochrane North (res. René Fontaine, 1986), August 14, 1986:

David Ramsay, elected as a New Democrat, joined the Liberal Party on October 6, 1986. Tony Lupusella, also elected as a New Democrat, joined the Liberal Party on December 17, 1986. After Lupusella's defection, the Liberals held as many seats in the legislative assembly as the Progressive Conservatives, at 51, (if the Speaker of the Legislature is included as a Liberal).

Paul Yakabuski, PC MPP for Renfrew South died July 31, 1987

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

A Replaced as Premier by David Peterson on June 26, 1985

B Turmel ran as a "Social Credit Party of Ontario" candidate despite the fact that the party was long since defunct

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevens, Geoffrey (1990), Leaders and Lesser Mortals, Toronto: Key Porter Books, pp. 48–50, ISBN 1550134442 
  2. ^ Stevens, Geoffrey (1990), Leaders and Lesser Mortals, Toronto: Key Porter Books, p. 50, ISBN 1550134442