Interesting chart, I see the HST has very much hurt McGuinty. I was headed to Ottawa for Canada Day in 2010, and I remember that weekend was the weekend that the HST hit the fuel prices. If you look at that chart, the Liberals immediately took a huge hit for daring to install an HST and immediately lost a core of support (looks to be obviously linked to the HST). The Liberals have absolutely and completely been hurt by the HST, there is no doubt or question about it. Despite the move being a tax simplification, it has given the Hudak campaign an immediate punching bag that they won't let up on... This tax cut/spending cut message is all they have, and it sells well among those who don't care about green energy or efficiency.
With that said, the polls are headed in the right direction (pun not intended) if you're not a fan of Hudak. While a vote for Horwath is a wasted vote (just like voting for Layton sent Harper a raging majority), McGuinty is actually picking up support. You cannot compare what happened at the federal level with what is going to happen in Ontario in several weeks.
Here is a headline from late June, from the Star:
Hudak Tories roaring toward a majority: Poll
The Forum Research survey found Hudak’s Tories at 41 per cent compared with 26 per cent for Premier Dalton McGuinty’s governing Liberals, 22 per cent for NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and 8 per cent for Green Leader Mike Schreiner.
^Quite frankly that Green vote makes me want to vomit. There isn't exactly anything to protest in the Canadian government quite like the misery south of the border... McGuinty's record is green as green gets, and he risked it all on the HST and increasing energy prices to pay for it. Green voters should just pack up and go home and not bother voting in Ontario. I get sickened when a politician like McGuinty spends serious political capital and gets hurt by it.
Anyway... Here is the news only a month later, Hudak is tanking and he's going to have a real fight to stay in this race.
Same newspaper, different mood today.
Hudak’s lead shrinks, poll shows
Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals have cut Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s lead to 10 points from 15 points in the past month, a new poll suggests.
The Forum Research survey found Hudak’s Tories at 38 per cent — down from 41 per cent in June — to McGuinty’s Liberals at 28 per cent, up from 26 per cent. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath jumped to 24 per cent from 22 per cent and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner was down to seven per cent from eight per cent.
At least the polls are heading in the right direction. Maybe the Conservative dynasty is pre-mature?
Another factor, Ontario has an interesting history...
The opposite is true. Federal routs are typically followed by provincial wins.
The federal Liberal rout in Fall 1984 was followed by a spring 1985 provincial Liberal win.
The federal PC rout in fall 1993 was followed by a spring 1995 provincial PC win.
The last time we had a spring federal election followed by a fall provincial election was 1963.
In that 1963 election, Pearson and Robarts took equal shares (Pearson 45.8%; Robarts 48.9%) of Ontario votes and formed government.
McGuinty may have just enough history behind him to snag another term, which would be fantastic.