Premier Kathleen Wynne did her best to downplay the significance of two Ontario byelections Thursday after her minority Liberals failed to claim either Thornhill, or Niagara Falls.
The Conservatives held on to Thornhill and the NDP claimed Niagara Falls. The Liberal shutout was being seen by some as a sign of things to come in a possible spring election, but Wynne did her best to assuage any fears within her party.
“Whatever has happened in these byelections tonight is not reflective of what’s going to happen in the general election,” Wynne said Thursday night. “We know we have a lot of work to do…and we are going to redouble our efforts.”
Tory candidate Gila Martow fought off Liberal Sandra Yeung Racco to keep Thornhill in Conservative hands.
“Tonight we saw proof that the people of Ontario want to see change,” said Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak. “And they sent the Liberals a very clear message that they want leadership that’s going to take decisive action…and get Ontario moving again.”
New Democrat Wayne Gates defeated Progressive Conservative MPP Bart Maves in Niagara Falls — a riding that former Liberal MPP KiM Craitor held for the past decade before abruptly resigning his seat in September.
With files from The Canadian Press