I was thinking about that comparison as I digest a surprising Liberal majority in Ontario this AM (but the folks at Forum and Ekos with their last polls called it – so kudos to them. I think Nanos also had 1 poll out that pretty well mirrored the results).
Thinking back to 2011, Harper was (and still isn’t) not a universally loved leader, but Ignatieff was less popular then him (due both to attack ads and his personality in general, I’d argue). In Ontario, the OLP as a whole were not obviously loved by all due to some of their track record, but Hudak was disliked worse, it seems.
In 2011, it could be argued that Ignatieff did not make a good enough case to have voters get over their dislike of him to vote for him and the Liberals over Harper (contempt of Parliament was “the” reason the election was called). In 2014, Hudak tried to make the case by “cutting 100 000, but creating a million jobs”, but voters obviously didn’t buy that case either.
I would argue that in both 2011, and 2014, voters went with the status quo because they disliked the alternatives that were being presented to them.
At any rate, I congratulate Kathleen Wynne. She has a mandate, and I hope she plans on being a progressive Premier now that she has that mandate, as she ran to the left this whole campaign. (Personally, I hope to quickly see Ranked Ballot voting reform that she promised for not only Toronto but every municipality if they so choose to use it to be quickly re-introduced, and this time as a government bill, not a Private Member’s bill)