Ontario Liberals, NDP make appeals for strategic votes ahead of 2022 election

Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca is appealing to undecided voters to cast a strategic ballot in his party’s favour on Thursday, in a last ditch attempt to sway the electorate before election day.

At a campaign stop in the Humber River-Black Creek riding, Del Duca acknowledged that left-leaning voters are “still giving consideration to what the best option is” and suggested they should rally around a singular party to achieve their goals.

“Frankly, some of our neighbours might be thinking about voting for the Green party or for the NDP,” Del Duca told a room of supporters and campaign volunteers. “I would urge, I would urge those who are giving that consideration to take a look at our plan, take a look at our incredible team of candidates.”

Read more: Ontario party leaders make final push ahead of Thursday election

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Del Duca’s pitch for strategic votes comes on the final day of the election campaign in which his party has seen an uptick in support but has largely remained stagnant in second place in public opinion polling.

The Liberals, however, have been engaged in a tough battle with the Ontario NDP as the two parties fought over the same voter base and similar ridings — leading to local appeals for a strategic vote.

In the riding of Willowdale Liberal candidate Paul Saguil’s campaign team has begun pointing residents to VoteWell.ca and NotOneSeat.ca — left-leaning websites that offer voters a riding-by-riding guide to strategic voting — in a bid to sway swing voters who have yet to finalize their choice.

The Ontario NDP has also been sending similar signals to voters with Leader Andrea Horwath appealing to the “six out of ten people who don’t want Doug Ford to be re-elected.”

“I’m asking people to come together behind the NDP this time,” Horwath said at a campaign stop in Brampton.

In the riding of Pickering-Uxbridge, where the NDP is hoping to unseat Progressive Conservative candidate Peter Bethlenfalvy, volunteers have been distributing flyers that stress the “two way race between the NDP and Conservatives” and cast the Liberal party as “weak, in third place and unable to win.”

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Read more: Andrea Horwath doesn’t commit to staying on as Ontario NDP leader after her 4th election

While Horwath shied away making a direct appeal for strategic votes, she strongly rebuked her progressive opponent’s history in office.

“For 15 years they chose not to fix the things that were broke, they chose not to build hospitals in Brampton, they chose to lay off nurses, they chose to squeeze hospital budgets,” Horwath told reporters.

“You don’t have to keep going back to the Liberals.”

Meanwhile, Ontario PC leader Doug Ford is scheduled to host a rally at 8 p.m. in Etobicoke on Wednesday night ahead of election day. Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner is scheduled for several events on Wednesday in Brantford, St. Thomas, Kitchener and London, Ont.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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