- Federal Conservatives avidly watched Premier Doug Ford’s re-election on Thursday evening, hoping to learn how to return their party to power after three straight election losses.
The re-election of Premier Doug Ford on Thursday evening was eagerly observed by federal Conservatives seeking lessons on how to return their party to power following three consecutive election setbacks.
Multiple party insiders – including those working on leadership races – agreed that the federal Conservatives must mimic Ford’s blue-collar approach and form a new voter alliance to take on Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
“This majority is a credit to Doug Ford and Monte McNaughton’s tireless efforts to create connections and trust with labor union employees over the past four years,” said Melanie Paradis. She previously worked as the director of contacts for former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.
“Blue-collar workers should undoubtedly vote Conservative, but we haven’t talked to them for years. They now know Ford is on their side… I’m hoping that the Conservative Party would embrace this nationally.”
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According to Global News, Ford’s PCs are expected to return to Queen’s Park with a majority mandate, capturing at least the 63 seats needed to maintain power in the legislature.
The Ontario NDP, led by Andrea Horwath, was expected to form the official opposition again, with Steven Del Duca’s Liberals finishing third. As of late Thursday evening, it was not obvious if Del Duca would win the fight for the Vaughan-Woodbridge seat.
On Thursday night, plenty of federal conservatives were strolling around the Etobicoke Congress Centre, enjoying a provincial Tory victory after a string of federal losses.
O’Toole made overtures to organized labor, and all those close to the former Conservative leader intended to pursue in the footsteps of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in capturing the blue-collar support.
O’Toole only had a year to persuade his party to accept the message, but he was ultimately unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Ford had won the support of numerous private-sector unions in his campaign for a second majority mandate.
Throughout the federal Conservatives’ recent struggles, strategists and employees from various camps have argued that winning is the best way to silence their opponents. However, triumph has eluded both Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole.
Senior party insiders tell Global News that after a particularly vicious leadership race, it’s unclear whether whoever is selected to lead the party will be able to keep the coalition together. Pierre Poilievre, the presumed frontrunner, has waged a brusque campaign portraying his main rival, Jean Charest, as a liberal.
Global News has spoken with strategists from several federal leadership campaigns on Thursday afternoon. Apart from finding a new voter base, Ford’s genuineness – what you see is what you will get – was another asset in his quest for a second majority mandate.
Source: Global News