From left, Liberal candidate Doug Joyner, PC Sam Oosterhoff, and NDP David Augustyn in a Niagara Falls TV studio. JACK CUSTERS

Support craters for NDP, surges for Liberals

Incumbent Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff has won reelection to Provincial Parliament. He will return to Queen’s Park as part of a second PC-majority government.

Oosterhoff handily dispatched NDP candidate David Augustyn and Liberal candidate Doug Joyner, taking 45 percent of the vote (percentages rounded to nearest whole), against the NDP’s 21 percent and the Liberals’ 19 percent. Among the Niagara West riding’s 78,783 registered voters, 53 percent turned out, a significantly higher proportion than the provincial average of 43 percent, the lowest turnout in Ontario election history. In the end, effectively just 18 percent of Ontario voters reelected the Ford government.

Provincially, support for the NDP dropped 10 percent compared to 2018, with most of these votes going to the Liberals.

The loss in Niagara West was far greater, with support for NDP candidate David Augustyn dropping 38 percent compared to the party’s 2018 candidate, 20-year-old Curtis Fric. (By contrast, Niagara’s two other NDP candidates—incumbents Wayne Gates and Jeff Burch—retained their seats.) Support for Oosterhoff was also off by 24 percent. Both parties seemed to bleed voters to Liberal candidate Doug Joyner, who ended the night with 64 percent greater support than 2018’s Joe Kanee.

Green Party candidate Laura Garner took 6 percent, Libertarian Stefanos Karatopis took under 1 percent. Three far-right candidates whose parties don’t think the Ontario conservatives are conservative enough earned a combined 8 percent of the vote.

The Voice reached out to the major party candidates for their reaction to the election results.

David Augustyn, NDP

Thanks to the dozens of volunteers and donors, hundreds of families who displayed signs, and thousands of electors who voted for me and Ontario NDP in Niagara West. Our Niagara West team will continue to work for investments in and improvements to public healthcare and public education, for real action to fight climate change, and for making life more affordable. Congratulations to Sam Oosterhoff, Jennie Stevens, Jeff Burch, and Wayne Gates on their re-election.

Sam Oosterhoff, Conservative

I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to continue serving the people of Niagara West, and I wish to thank all our volunteers and the voters of Niagara West who sent me back to Queen’s Park by a resounding margin to continue advocating for them. As I have since I was first elected in 2016, I will continue working closely with my Ontario PC colleagues to bring forward the concerns of Niagara West’s families, workers, seniors, and job creators. This is a responsibility I take very seriously, and will keep working hard to deliver local results, cut the cost of living for families, rebuild our economy, and build up our healthcare system. In Pelham and across the riding, voters overwhelmingly voted for Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs to get the job done for their families.

Doug Joyner, Liberal

Although we did not get the outcome we worked so hard to achieve, the results are definitely positive for us. With record low voter turnout across the province and having our competitors losing vote share —Sam down 24 percent, and Dave down a whopping 38 percent— we still managed to increase our vote share by an astounding 64 percent in a very turbulent election cycle. Along with an increasing vote we managed to wake up Liberals in the riding and ended up with the largest Liberal volunteer base from Niagara to Burlington. To top it all off, donations in 2016 were zero, in 2018 there were nine donations, and in 2022 we received nearly 80 donations to fund the campaign. All of these indicators show our resiliency, and an incredible team. And for all of these reasons I am officially announcing my intent to seek the nomination for the Ontario Liberal Party in 2026. With these ongoing trend lines Sam should occasionally check over his shoulder, because we are coming.