Would the Liberals in Ontario be able to win without Wynne? There poll numbers are really low right now. But polls say that all they need is a new face, and they should be able to bring an edge back to the party.
If Kathleen Wynne quit and let someone else take over, the party would get 29% voter support which would be better than the Progressive Conservatives at 28%. If nothing changes, she will preside over a Liberal rout. The Progressive Conservatives are currently at 35% which brings them very near the majority. The Liberals are at 21%.
Liberals have a strong brand in Ontario, but Wynne’s personal brand is weak. She is wearing all of the negatives, and there are a lot of them. According to the Liberals, a number of deficit budgets have pushed the debt to more than $300 billion. Job growth is sluggish, and unemployment is at 6.7%. Hydro rates rose 15% in 2015 too. Wynne recently promised an 8% rebate for hydro consumers, but this has done nothing to stem their anger. Recently, at an agricultural fair, she got booed by the farmers who were struggling with their electricity bills.
Under her leadership, the Liberals struggle when it comes to labor. The struck an unpopular deal with the teachers union and failed to strike a deal with the doctors in the province. They also increased taxes on the rich, airline fuel, and tobacco. They created an Ontario Pension Plan which cost $70 million. This was the centerpiece of her campaign back in 2014. But they scrapped the idea as soon as Ottawa agreed to increase CPP.
Wynne is facing a lesser-known Patrick Brown of the PC this time around. If the Liberals are thinking of switching horses, they will have to do so quickly and without shedding any blood. A graceful exit will be much better for them as compared to a coup in the palace.