Two Ontario political parties have full slates of candidates on day 1 of election campaign

Two of the four major Ontario political parties have a full slate of candidates locked in heading into the first day of the election campaign period while the others say their rosters will be filled in the coming days.

Both the Progressive Conservative Party and the New Democratic Party are boasting 124 candidates—one for each riding in Ontario.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the NDP said their team includes a variety of professionals, including school board trustees, municipal councillors, business owners, health-care workers, teachers, labour leaders and accountants.

Nearly 40 of the candidates are incumbent MPPs, they said.

“This team is strong. They’re ready to do the job. They’re diverse as Ontario is. And I couldn’t be prouder to work with them — connecting with Ontarians about how we fix what’s most important to people,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in a statement.

The Green Party says they have 114 candidates so far. There are six candidates that are expected to be nominated in the next few days while four are in a “final screening.”

The Liberals are also close with 110 nominations, but say they will be “running a full slate of 124 candidates for the campaign.”

A spokesperson for the Liberals says more than half of their candidates are women and have “an incredible diversity of experiences and backgrounds.”

The Ontario election campaign officially kicked off Wednesday with all four party leaders spending their time in the Greater Toronto Area before heading to various rallies in hopes of creating some momentum on the trail.

“It's all about geography,” Canadian pollster Nick Nanos told CP24 Wednesday morning. “For both the liberals and the New Democrats, they have to reignite and pick up support in the GTA. If they cannot do that mathematically, it is almost impossible for them to challenge Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives.”

“Watch the New Democrats and Liberals go heavy into the GTA, while Ford tries to hold on what he has in order to keep the political advantage.”

A new poll released by Nanos on Tuesday showed the PCs seven-points ahead as the formal election period kicked off.

About 36.9 per cent of respondents said they supported the Tories while about 30.4 per cent said they would support the Liberals, led by Steven Del Duca.

The NDP, who became the Official Opposition in 2018 after surging ahead of the Liberals, sat in third place with about 23.7 per cent of support from decided voters.

“In the first part of the campaign, I predict that Del Duca will be the wildcard,” Nanos said, adding that leadership is one of the key determining factors in how people vote in Ontario.

Meanwhile, about 22.8 per cent of respondents said that Horwath would be their preferred premier.

Ontarians will cast their votes on June 2.