Liberals surge ten points in polls after Mississauga Mayor’s leadership election


Published December 5, 2023 at 7:01 pm

Bonnie Crombie

The Ontario Liberal Party has seen a ten percent surge in polls following the election of Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie to its leadership.

The party largely dominated Ontario politics for 15 years between 2003 and 2018, under Premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne. However, the later Wynne years were themselves dominated by increasing unpopularity and several major scandals.

This allowed a Progressive Conservative blue wave to seize Queen’s Park in a 76-seat majority. The PCs needed only 63 seats to form a majority. The Liberals suffered the worst defeat in their at the time 161-year history, retaining only seven seats. The NDP then became the Official Opposition party for the first time since 1990. The formerly reigning Liberals lost official party status overnight.

Wynne resigned her party leadership to be replaced by her former Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca. However, the party fared little better in the 2022 election winning only eight seats. Again they did not have enough seats to reach official party status.

Del Duca lost his own seat in Vaughan-Woodbridge and also stepped down as leader. He successfully ran as Vaughan mayor later that year. Following the PC’s second majority victory, even larger than the last, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath stepped down from her role as well. She was later replaced with Marit Stiles, MPP Davenport.

However, the Liberals took longer to settle on a leader. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie went on leave from her role to run as Del Duca’s replacement. She won that election on Dec. 3 after three ballots.

Following her victory, polling tracker 338 Canada released it’s first polls of Ontario’s voting intentions on Dec. 5. The firm found the Liberals had jumped in support by 10 per cent practically overnight after Crombie’s win.

They found the party had risen to 34 per cent support, surpassing the NDP once more. Previously the Liberals hovered just above the NDP for support, though the two parties had been largely neck-and-neck since the 2022 election. In the last poll from Dec. 1, Ford’s PC had a firm 40 per cent lead, with the NDP and Liberals tied at a distant second of 24 per cent.

Following Crombie’s win, the Liberals seemed to have gained five per cent from both their major competitors

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