While some Liberals may be celebrating the fact that Doug Ford won the Progressive Conservative leadership, the provincial election may not come down to a choice between Ford and Kathleen Wynne.
Although the Liberals will probably find it easier to demonize Ford than Christine Elliott, the anger toward the incumbent government may be too much for Wynne to overcome. A recent poll shows the Liberals in third place, behind both the Conservatives and the NDP. If that trend continues when the campaign begins, NDP leader Andrea Horwath may get a lot more attention.
Progressive voters who want to stop Ford from becoming premier may start to see Horwath, and not Wynne, as their only hope. Horwath has not run great campaigns in the past, but she could capitalize on Wynne’s unpopularity and attract votes from some people who want change but don’t want Ford.
Anything is possible, but it’s not out of the question that the final stretch of the campaign could come down to a battle between Ford and Horwath, with the Liberals a distant third.