06/08/2014 12:39 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:06 EDT

Tim Hudak Says Ontario Liberals Will Resort To Scare Tactics To Deflect Attention From Scandals

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - As Ontario's election campaign enters the home stretch, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is predicting the Liberals will resort to scare tactics against him and his party in a bid to sway voters.

Hudak told a backyard "town hall" in St. Catharines that as the clock ticks down to voting day on Thursday, the Liberals will try to paint him and his platform as a bogeyman in order to deflect attention from their scandals.

"In the last few days of this campaign you're going to see a very, very crystal clear difference. You'll see the Liberals trying to frighten you about our plan because they don't want to talk about their record," he said Sunday.

"They're going to demand your vote because they're addicted to power."

Premier Kathleen Wynne tried to strike several fearful notes in a message tailored to NDP-friendly voters while making a campaign stop in Mississauga, warning that Hudak would be dangerous for Ontario.

"If Tim Hudak has half a chance, he is going to destroy so much of what we have built up over decades," she said.

Several polls suggest the Liberals and Hudak's PC's are in a statistical dead heat, and winning over some of the NDP's traditional block of supporters may be Wynne's best shot at staying in power.

Wynne noted that New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath has refused to rule out supporting Hudak in a coalition government — something Wynne said iconic NDP leaders would never have contemplated.

The Liberals tried to hammer the point home yet again with a new ad aimed squarely at the NDP base.

Titled "Vote Horwath — Elect Hudak," it warned of the Tory pledge to chop 100,000 public sector jobs and closed with a female narrator saying a "split vote will only help Hudak's chances."

Wynne's push for strategic voting earned a rebuke from Horwath, who also took a shot at the Tories by saying the electorate has more choices than "between corrupt and crazy."

Meanwhile, Hudak admonished Wynne for what he called her negative tone, saying she's "spent the entire campaign attacking everybody else and telling you what not to vote for."

He said that in the final days his strategy will be to remain rock-steady on relief for taxpayers and job creation.

— With files from Colin Perkel and Allison Jones