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John Tory loses “safe seat” byelection: Ontario Conservatives will go hard right with new leader.

That’s my prediction after this rather surprising result yesterday.. heck, let’s call it a shocking result:

Unofficial results have Liberal candidate Rick Johnson defeating Tory 43.7 per cent to 41.2 per cent, with all 258 polls reporting. Johnson’s lead had widened since early results had Tory narrowly ahead. Johnson won by slightly more than 900 votes, 15,482 to 14,576.In 2007, as a general election candidate, Johnson only took 29.4 per cent of the vote against his Progressive Conservative opponent Laurie Scott, who gave up her seat so Tory could run.

A leader who can’t win in an urban riding in the 2007 election because he was too “conservative” for those […]

Did John Tory get enough votes to stay in as leader?

It looks like he’ll have to think about it:

John Tory says he’ll decide “very soon” whether to hang on as Progressive Conservative leader after winning just 66.87 per cent support from party activists in a review of his performance following last October’s election debacle. The results – lower than internal tracking which showed more comfortably in the 70 per cent range – appeared to come as a shock to Tory.

Personally, in a very selfish way, I hope Mr. Tory leaves, and the Ontario PC’s put in a right-winger as their leader. I think Tory would still have a chance to portray himself as a moderate to the Ontario electorate the next time around, and that usually appeals to the province’s voters. If the PC’s think they need to get a leader that acts more like Mike Harris then Bill Davis, that will ensure the PC’s remain out of government here for awhile.

[email protected]:40pm – Well, that was quick:

After the result, Tory said he needed time to consider his future. The time he needed turned out to be brief. Three hours later, Tory emerged late Saturday to announce that he had consulted his wife and caucus and had decided to stay on as leader.

So, he opted to stick with this amount of support unlike what Joe Clark did with the same amount of leadership support with the federal PC’s  in 1983. It will be interesting to see if this time, the decision pans out for him, unlike for Joe.

An interesting endorsement of John Tory

When you’re an embattled leader of a party that has some of your grassroots members wanting you removed, I’m not sure whether an endorsement by a major daily that is more or less an ideological opponent of yours is good or bad, but that is what the Toronto Star has done in calling for John Tory to remain Progressive Conservative leader in Ontario:

The party has a better chance of mounting an effective opposition to Premier Dalton McGuinty over the next four years and fighting the Liberals in the next election if it stays near the political centre where most Ontarians’ sensibilities lie. That’s why the party should give Tory […]

Latest poll says John Tory and The PC’s are toast.

As unbelievable as it might seem, John Tory and his Progressive Conservative party may end up having LESS seats then what they had to start the Ontario provincial campaign if this latest poll from Strategic Council is accurate:

Liberals: 42 per cent Progressive Conservatives: 27 per cent NDP: 19 per cent Green Party: 11 per cent

Look at how the faith-based funding issue has completely neutralized John Tory’s attacks on broken promises:

When respondents were asked which of the two issues they were most concerned with, 39 per cent said McGuinty’s broken campaign promises, while 49 per cent said Tory’s pledge to fund private religious schools.

If the poll […]

This and that.

– Will John Tory’s flip-flop on allowing a free vote of the faith-based school funding issue “change the channel” as he and his strategists claim? He’d better hope so, and quickly, because SES has a poll out mirroring the 10 point Liberal lead that Ipsos’ weekend poll had. The NDP probably isn’t very happy today either. The poll seems to indicate the Liberals picked up support from them, and in particular, the female vote went from the NDP to the Liberals.

– Jim over at the Progressive Right has a great example of how MMP would be a benefit to a voter like Joanne’s situation (ironically a FPTP supporter, which […]

“Leadership (and bad polls) matters”

Governments forcing to back down from promises made during an election campaign are pretty common-place, but this is the first time I’ve seen a political party make and then back down from a promise before the election campaign is even over.

This is called “restarting his election campaign”. That’s something else you don’t hear of too much – particularly 10 days before an election. Then again, with a poll showing Tory 15% behind Kathleen Wynne in his own riding, and the Ipsos poll over the weekend showing a 10 point Liberal lead in the province which probably translates to a majority government, perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures.

[…]

It’s a start.

A H/T to Jim Calder of the Progressive Right for finding this story; John Tory on the picking of list candidates in the National Post:

The Conservative leader went on to say that if the referendum passes, his party will likely find a democratic way to develop its list of candidates. “The history of our party is that the party insists on choosing its candidates democratically. Even the notion that the leader would appoint candidates is something that has been not well received when it’s come up.”

Its not an iron-clad commitment to pick democratically, but I applaud Mr. Tory for saying this much; its much better then what was being said by him a couple of days ago. He is correct in that it would be nice to hear Premier McGuinty’s thought on the electoral reform being proposed, as well as the way the Liberal list candidates will be chosen.

Vote For MMP takes John Tory to task.

Not too long ago, I criticized John Tory for having the audacity to complain that MMP would mean that List Candidates would be “appointed” by party leaders, and these MPP’s would then only answer to the party. I pointed out that Tory was in a position as PC party leader to help prevent his own fear from happening by publicly declaring that the PC party would make sure to democratically select their List candidates. I challenged him (as did others in the Vote For MMP campaign) to show some of that vaunted “leadership” on this issue (which he keeps trying to tell people he has) and do a declaration to […]

Ontario TV debate did nothing to move poll #’s.

That’s not good news if you’re John Tory with less then 2 weeks to go during the campaign. The Liberals actually marginally increased their lead to 8 points over the PC’s. I did find the statement from the Ottawa Sun kind of interesting where they asserted these numbers indicate that McGuinty and the Liberals will be in a minority government situation. Greg Morrow hasn’t updated his election predictions yet, but this is what his predictor currently reads as of Sept 19th:

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As you can see, a bare majority government for the Liberals. If on the other hand you go to Hill & Knowlton’s site and key in […]

John Tory running into critics from his own party.

And you think Dion has problems with supposed grumblings behind his back? Check out John Tory’s, who has party members openly questioning him on the hustings:

Bill Murdoch, the member for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, became the first Tory MPP to say he could not support the controversial promise… “I didn’t realize how sensitive and divisive the issue would be when it was first introduced,” Murdoch said today.. “Should this come before the legislature, as it stands today, with the majority of my riding opposed, I will vote against it.”

And of course, Tory didn’t help matters by openly dismissing Murdoch as a live wire:

“When you look up maverick in the […]

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