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Strategists eye provincial by-elections for a sign of things to come

Residents vote in Thornhill and Niagara Falls on Thursday

Thursday's by-elections will be less about the the local ridings, more about the bigger picture, with strategists eyeing the outcomes to see if wins can be translated to gains in a province-wide vote.

However, one observer says the true test in Thornhill and Niagara Falls, will be if Tory leader Tim Hudak can make a clean-sweep.

University of Toronto professor Nelson Wiseman says if Hudak can't, then the party may lose confidence in him leading the Progressive Conservatives to victory the next time Ontario heads to the polls.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says by-elections are their own beasts and whatever happens after polls close, she'll still be the premier of a minority government.

The Tories hope to keep the party's Thronhill seat, left vacant after Peter Shurman resigned as MPP. The Liberals trying to save their seat in Niagara Falls. MPP Kim Craitor stepped down to spend more time with his family and look after his health.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath and her party are so confident they'll take Niagara Falls from the Liberals, that she has already scheduled an appearance there on Thursday night with candidate Wayne Gates.

Hudak and Wynne's staff have not announced their appearances.

The Liberal minority government is expected to fall after this spring budget is tabled. The NDP have helped the Liberals survive since a minority was elected with former-Premier Dalton McGuinty at the helm in 2011.

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  1. john posted on 02/13/2014 11:46 AM
    okey lets start the prosess of kicking these monkey out of power .
  2. Frankie posted on 02/13/2014 12:37 PM
    Unfortunately voters are extremely short-sighted and ill-informed. They keep voting the Liberals into power while the Liberals keep digging a bigger and bigger fiscal hole for the province. Ontario has serious financial issues, thanks to one of the most incompetent governments in Ontario history.

    Perhaps if all Ontario school kids were taught economics voters would at least be more intelligent about their voting habits.

    Who would have thought a Liberal government could ruin this province more than the Bob Rae NDP?
    1. Jack posted on 02/13/2014 05:41 PM
      @Frankie Teachers in this province are too busy poisoning our kid's mind with their own political biases and pro-union propaganda to have any time left for teaching economics. It's revolting.
  3. Angry Bill posted on 02/13/2014 05:14 PM
    I don't think Wynne WANTS Hudak to step aside... having him running the conservatives is the best shot she has at winning the next election, and she knows it.

    I just wish you silly buggers had voted for John Tory when he was running. We wouldn't be in this mess right now. But, I do get some satisfaction from laughing at you, because you got the government you deserve. That's a bit of consolation, anyway.
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