In Ontario, there are two political parties that are contenders for government -- the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives.
In a by-election that was held last week -- the Ontario Liberals had much to lose in five ridings that they held months ago. They lost there -- two to the NDP and one to the Progressive Conservatives. Then again - the NDP is no contender to becoming a government so their win is a symbolic win at best. It was not long ago that the NDP was winning a serious of by-elections under their one time leader Howard Hampton only to be reduced to its historical low player status in a general election.
Let me focus on the real players -- Tim Hudak's and Kathleen Wynne's Team and perhaps highlight what happened in my won riding of Scarborough Guildwood and others. The Liberals only managed to keep the Scarborough seat with a media savvy candidate and by falsely claiming she was a subway supporting candidate when mere months ago -- she was against subways in Scarborough before she was for it.
The Liberal candidate Mitzie Hunter held on to the riding at 38 % to the Conservatives Ken Kirupa's 32% and the NDP's Adam Giambrone. For the Liberals, it's down from 49% that one time Liberal MPP Margarett Best held less than two years ago. For the NDP and Conservatives -- this is a huge improvement from their standings a year-and-a-half ago.
In Ottawa South, where one time Premier Dalton McGuinty held for 23 years and previously by his father, the Liberals struggled to hold the seat where it should have been a cake walk. The Liberal candidate was John Fraser - a veteran fixture of Liberal politics - to a virtual unknown PC candidate Matt Young. At the end - Fraser won by just over a thousand votes.
In London West - the Liberal's star candidate -- Ken Coran -- was reduced to 15 per cent -- where the Liberals held the riding for a decade comfortably. The Conservative candidate -- Ali Chabhar -- came a close second with 9,421 votes or 31 per cent to the NDP's 13,410 votes or 44.1 per cent. Like Scarborough Guildwood and Ottawa South, this to was a Liberal riding where the party won handily in 2011.
In Etobicoke-Lakeshore - another riding held by the Liberals and held by more than 10,000 votes in 2011 - the Liberals lost it to the Progressive Conservatives. The former Deputy Mayor - Doug Holday - won it from the Liberals by more than 5%. This was a major Toronto breakthrough for Tim Hudak and his party.
This was as close as they come in the safest Liberal riding's in the province. Imagine if the Conservatives had run better and well known candidates like the Liberals - they would have had better results. What is clear in all these riding's is the fact that the Conservatives are real contenders all across the province and much of the credit should be going to Tim Hudak.
So why is Hudak facing a challenge to his leadership of the party? It's nothing more than blind ambition by small and disgruntled party members to support their preferred candidate for leadership. They should be stopped and allow Tim Hudak continue to make inroads across Ontario.
Stephen Harper faced challenges to his leadership after a general election loss by Quebec organizers and he came back from it and won the eventual general election. Hudak can also do that.
That is - if he starts producing better candidates just the way his adversaries have managed to do so.