The numbers say what a lot of people aren’t: Last night, the NDP were the only party to increase both their popular vote and their seats over 2003. It’s incredible!
It’s testament to the fact that Howard Hampton ran an honest campaign that stuck to the issues. In fact, if real issues that matter to everyday people – like tuition fees, property taxes, and the decline of Ontario’s manufacturing sector - were addressed and reflected in the media coverage at all it is due entirely to Hampton.
And while Dalton McGuinty wasn’t held to a minority as many had hoped, the results were far worse for both the Liberals and Conservatives who saw fewer Ontarians vote for them than four years ago.
The Greens should also be proud of increasing their vote from 2.8 to 8 percent. In large part, this was due to the MMP referenda. An unusual number of Green supporters came out to vote in this election in support of MMP.
But their Ontario result also shows what can happen when Greens campaign against the Liberal Party instead of being a compliant cheerleader as Elizabeth May is doing. Look at the recent Outremont by-election where the Dion Liberals actually used an endorsement from May in their campaign literature -- the Greens lost 2.8% of their vote and came a distant fourth.
Also interesting is that both the NDP and the Greens saw their vote share go up while the Liberals and PC's went down. Quite simply, the cliche that the NDP and Greens are fishing in the same pond is bogus. But don't try to tell that to University of Waterloo political scientist Peter Woolstencroft.