Cross-posted to the BlogsCanada E-Group Election Blog.
The NDP has regained official party status in Ontario and done it in rather a resounding fashion with a convincing victory in a byelection in Hamilton East.
New Democrat Andrea Horwath, 41, a Hamilton city councillor since 1997, trounced Liberal candidate Ralph Agostino, 42, with nearly twice as many votes.
... The riding's 187 poll stations reported an unofficial vote count of 15,185 ballots for Horwath, compared to 6,362 votes for Agostino.
The Tory candidate, Tara Crugnale, got 1,619 votes.
To be fair, the incumbent Liberal would have been Dominic Agostino but he passed away in March from liver cancer. The Liberal candidate was his brother and I don't image Ralph had much time to establish a name for himself in the riding.
And while the Tory candidate had her head handed to her, recall that the provincial Tories in Ontario are on a serious time-out. We don't like them anymore. They've been sent to their rooms. Hopefully for at least a generation.
The loss for the Liberals is a blow to the McGuinty government and sends a message that voters aren't happy with what the party has done since it swept into power last fall.
It's also damaging to Hamilton's Liberal Party members. A number of members questioned how Agostino was selected as the candidate, particularly since a well-known city councillor had also wanted to represent the riding.
(Hmmm. Funny business in the nomination process here too?)
So is this a backlash against Liberals in general? Or is this really provincial business that has no bearing on the coming federal election?