Election voter turnout hits all-time low in Ontario

Although Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives cruised to another majority victory on Thursday night, it appears a majority of Ontarians did not bother to make their voices heard.

The numbers from Elections Ontario, with more than 99 per cent of polls reporting, show only 43 per cent of eligible voters actually chose to cast a ballot. It marks the lowest number ever for a provincial election in Ontario.

The previous low was 48 per cent in 2011.

The Conservatives received just over 40 per cent of the votes cast, with the NDP and Liberals combining for nearly 47 per cent. However, Ford and the PCs received support from around 20 per cent of the more than 10 million eligible voters in the province.

Ford spoke to the media on Friday morning and was asked if the unprecedented low turnout still gives his government a mandate.

“I think it’s pretty clear the people gave us a mandate with 83 seats,” he said. “We’re going to focus on our mandate.”

Election results with 99.73% of polls reporting:

  • Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario – 1,912,648 (40.84%)
  • New Democratic Party of Ontario – 1,111,112 (23.72%)
  • Ontario Liberal Party – 1,117,041 (23.85%)
  • Green Party of Ontario – 279,172 (5.96%)

Ontario saw a significantly higher voter turnout in the 2018 election, with 57 per cent of eligible voters casting a ballot.

More than a million Ontarians voted during the advance polling period, a significant increase from the previous election in 2018. Nearly 10 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballot in the 10 days of advance voting.

Elections Ontario also says it sent significantly more mail-in ballots to voters this time around. Voting kits were mailed out to 126,135 eligible residents, a sharp increase from 2018 when only 15,202 ballots were doled out.

The early mail-in and advance voting numbers led to some speculation that voter turnout could be higher than expected, in what many were calling an unenthusiastic election campaign.

Prior to Thursday night’s vote, campaign sources told CityNews they expected around a 45 per cent voter turnout this time around.


Ford won a second straight majority government on the same night two opposition party leaders submitted their resignations.

Horwath was re-elected to represent Hamilton Centre, but in an emotional speech, announced she is stepping down as leader of the Ontario New Democrats despite the party regaining Official Opposition status.

Del Duca also resigned as the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party after losing to PC incumbent Michael Tibolo in the riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge.

One of the first orders of business for the government will be to re-introduce the almost $200 billion budget that was tabled ahead of the election call. At the time, the PCs said the document would serve as the financial blueprint for its re-election campaign.

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