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Ontario general election, 1995: Map

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Map of the 1995 election
The Ontario Legislature after the 1995 election.


The Ontario general election of 1995 was held on June 8, 1995, to elect members of the 36th Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. The writs for the election were dropped on April 28, 1995.

The governing New Democratic Party, led by Premier Bob Rae, was defeated by voters, who were angry at the mistakes made by the inexperienced NDP and frustrated by the recession, rising taxes, and unemployment. The NDP had lost much of their base in organized labour, due to the unpopularity of its Social Contract legislation in 1993.

Lyn McLeod's Liberals had been leading in the polls for most of the period from 1992 to 1995, and were generally favoured to benefit from the swing in support away from the NDP. However, the party hurt its credibility through a series of high-profile policy reversals in the period leading up to the election. The most notable of these occurred when McLeod withdrew Liberal support from Bill 167, a same-sex benefits package for civil unions, when it was introduced by the NDP government in 1994. Her decision was seen as cynical and opportunistic in light of the Liberals' earlier rural by-election loss in the socially conservative riding of Victoria—Haliburton. This gave the party a reputation for "flip-flopping" and inconsistency while offending its socially progressive supporters.

The televised party leaders' debate is often regarded as the turning point of the campaign. During the event, McLeod further alienated many voters with an overly aggressive performance. Harris used his time to speak directly to the camera to convey his party's Common Sense Revolution platform, virtually ignoring all questions asked of him by Rae and McLeod and avoiding getting caught up in their debate. Since Liberal support was regarded by many political insiders as soft and unsteady, many voters who were previously leaning to the Liberals shifted to the Progressive Conservatives after the debate.

The Progressive Conservative Party, led by Mike Harris, found success with its Common Sense Revolution campaign to cut personal income taxes, social assistance (welfare) rates, and government spending dramatically. Roughly half of his party's seats came from the more affluent regions of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), especially the suburban belt surrounding Metro Toronto, often called the '905' for its telephone area code.

In addition, by presenting himself as a populist, representing "ordinary Ontarians" over "special interests", Harris was able to build Tory support among working-class voters. Although there were regional variations, many working-class voters shifted directly from the NDP to the Tories during the election, enabling the latter to win formerly NDP ridings such as Cambridge and Oshawa.

Due to the above factors, voters gave the Tories a large plurality while the Liberals finished with less support than they had in the 1990 election. The NDP, despite improving their standing in some Northern Ontario ridings, were heavily defeated and reduced to third party status from which they have not yet recovered. McLeod and Rae resigned their party leadership posts not long after the campaign.

One independent candidate was elected: Peter North in the riding of Elgin. North had been elected in 1990 as a New Democrat, but left the NDP and declared his intention to run as a Progressive Conservative. The PC Party did not accept him as a candidate, however.

Results

Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1990 Elected % Change # % % Change

Progressive Conservative Mike Harris 130 20 82 +310% 1,870,110 44.8% +21.3%

Liberal Lyn McLeod 130 36 30 -16.7% 1,291,326 31.1% -1.3%

New Democratic Bob Rae 130 74 17 -77.0% 854,163 20.6% -17.0%

Family Coalition Donald Pennell 55 - - - 61,657 1.5% -0.1%

Natural Law Ron Parker 68 - - - 18,326 0.4% +0.4%

Green Frank de Jong 37 - - - 14,108 0.4% -0.3%

Libertarian John Shadbolt 18 - - - 6,085 0.2% -0.4%

Freedom Jack Plant 11 - - - 4,532 0.1% -0.1%

Confederation of Regions   6 - - - 3,971 0.1% -1.8%

Communist Darrell Rankin 5 - - - 1,015 0.02% -0.08%

Independent 61 - 1 - 33,077 0.8% +0.5%
Total 636 130 130 - 4,158,370 100% -


Notes:

At least five unregistered parties fielded candidates in this election.











Candidates from the aforementioned parties appeared on the ballot as independents. It is possible that some candidates listed below as independents actually belonged to these or other parties.

Riding results

Algoma:



Algoma—Manitoulin:



Beaches—Woodbine:



Brampton North:



Brampton South:



Brant—Haldimand:



Bruce:



Burlington South:



Cambridge:



Carleton:



Carleton East:



Chatham—Kent:



Cochrane North:



Cochrane South:



Cornwall:



Don Mills:



Dovercourt:



Dufferin—Peel:



Durham Centre:



Durham East:



Durham West:



Durham—York:



Eglinton:



Elgin:



Essex—Kent:



Essex South:



Etobicoke—Humber:



Etobicoke—Lakeshore:



Etobicoke—Rexdale:



Etobicoke West:



Fort William:



Fort York:



Frontenac—Addington:



Grey—Owen Sound:



Guelph:



Halton Centre:



Halton North:



Hamilton East:



Hamilton Mountain:



Hamilton West:



Hastings—Peterborough:



High Park—Swansea:



Huron:



Kenora:



Kingston and the Islands:



Kitchener:



Kitchener—Wilmot:



Lake Nipigon:



Lambton:



Lanark—Renfrew:



Lawrence:



Leeds—Grenville:



London Centre:



London North:



London South:



Markham:



Middlesex:



Mississauga East:



Mississauga North:



Mississauga South:



Mississauga West:



Muskoka—Georgian Bay:



Niagara South:



Nickel Belt:



Nipissing:



Norfolk:



Northumberland:



Oakville South:



Oakwood:



Oriole:



Oshawa:



Ottawa Centre:



Ottawa East:



Ottawa—Rideau:



Ottawa South:



Ottawa West:



Oxford:



Parkdale:



Parry Sound:



Perth:



Peterborough:



Port Arthur:



Prescott and Russell:



Prince Edward—Lennox:



Quinte:



Rainy River:



Renfrew North:



Riverdalemarker:



Sarnia:



Sault Ste. Marie:



Scarborough—Agincourt:



Scarborough Centre:



Scarborough East:



Scarborough—Ellesmere:



Scarborough North:



Scarborough West:



Simcoe Centre:



Simcoe East:



Simcoe West:



St. Andrew—St. Patrick:







St. Catharines—Brock:



St. George—St. David:



Stormont—Dundas—Glengarry & East Grenville:



Sudbury East:



Timiskaming:



Victoria—Haliburton:



Waterloo North:



Welland—Thorold:



Wellington:



Wentworth East:



Wentworth North:



Willowdale:



Wilson Heights:



Windsor—Riverside:



York Centre:



York East:



York Mills:



York—Mackenzie:



Yorkview:





post-election changes:

Bob Rae(NDP) resigned his seat on February 29, 1996. A by-electionwas called for May 23, 1996.

Oriole(res. Elinor Caplan, May 5, 1997), September 4, 1997:



Ottawa West(res. Bob Chiarelli, May 5, 1997), September 4, 1997:



(Alex Cullenleft the Liberal Party on November 15, 1998, and joined the NDP on November 23, 1998.)

Windsor—Riverside(res. David Cooke, May 5, 1997), September 4, 1997:



Nickel Belt(res. Floyd Laughren, February 28, 1998), October 1, 1998:



See also



Liberal
(x)Jim Bradley
13,761
46.53
$33,835.95

Progressive Conservative
Archie Heide
11,486
38.84
$36,875.32

New Democratic Party
Jeff Burch
3,929
13.29
$12,043.92

Family Coalition Party
Jon Siemens
245
0.83
$0.00

Natural Law Party
Marcy Sheremetta
153
0.52
$0.00
Total valid votes
29,574
100.00
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots
227
Turnout
29,801
64.58

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