What Results in the Windsor-Essex Area Reveal
Prior to the June 2 election the ridings of Windsor West, Windsor-Tecumseh and Essex were all held by NDP MPPs who had been elected or re-elected with the mobilisation of the working people, especially teachers and education workers, following the collapse of the McGuinty minority Liberal government in 2012. At that time the working people intervened to elect the NDP as a way to ensure that the Liberals would not regain a foothold in the area and that the PCs were kept out as well.
In this election, in which the Liberals were again a non-factor, the PCs successfully waged a campaign to suppress the NDP vote, using strategies to raise doubts about the NDP, based on it having “strayed from its roots” among other things. They did this to avoid talking about what they themselves stand for and intend to do, repeating their slogan about Ford “getting it done” to convince NDP voters to either switch their vote or not vote at all. This, combined with the use of billions of dollars in public funds promised to Chrysler/Stellantis and LG for a new EV battery plant and promises of thousands of new jobs was used to put pressure on NDP voters, especially those whose jobs are in the auto sector. This appears to have resulted in a good number of those who previously voted NDP not voting this time. This cynical strategy delivered upset victories for the PCs in both Windsor-Tecumseh and Essex. In Windsor West, where the voter turnout was an abysmal 33 per cent, the NDP was able to hold on to its seat despite a large drop in its votes compared to the last election.
Although the PCs are euphoric about their upsets, the refusal of voters in the three ridings to endorse any of the cartel parties affirms that the electorate of this area like the rest of the province has rejected any Party speaking in their name. This means that although the PCs claim a mandate, they do not have one and their self-serving moves will face swift opposition from the people of the area who always take just stands in defence of their rights and the rights of all.