It appears Ontario has once again elected a Doug Ford led, Conservative majority government.
Though 27 polling stations in the province were extended due to technical delays and some results are still rolling in, the Conservatives are boasting a wide enough lead to be called.
This year, Kingston and two of its neighbouring ridings had no choice but to elect a fresh face to their area, with incumbents in several ridings stepping down ahead of this election.
Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston elected disgraced former MPP Randy Hillier for the last 15 years before he announced he was stepping away from politics, Conservative MPP Daryl Kramp chose not to seek re-election in Lennox and Addington, and NDP MPP Ian Arthur also chose not to seek re-election in Kingston and the Islands.
Kingston and the Islands had a wide range of candidates to choose from, as this year several right leaning parties were formed with much of their platform focused on restrictions imposed on Ontarians during the pandemic.
Kingston City Councillor Mary Rita Holland ran for the NDP, Gary Bennett for the PCs, Shalea Beckwith for the Ontario Party, Zachary Typhair with the Green Party, New Blue candidate Stephen Skyvington, Shelley Galloway running as an independent, Sebastian Vaillancourt of the Communist Party of Canada, Laurel Claus Johnson of Consensus Ontario, and Kingston's newly elected MPP: the Liberal party's Ted Hsu.
Hsu, with nearly 38% of the votes, bested Holland and Bennett who had 30.8% and 24.7% respectively.
Newly formed right leaning parties like New Blue and the Ontario Party failed to make much of a dent if any in Kingston, combining for less than 3% of the riding's total votes.
In general the Ontario Party, led by Derek Sloan in Lennox and Addington, failed to establish itself in this year's election.
Projections show the Progressive Conservative Party gaining seats since their 2018 election, mostly at the expense of the NDP party who have lost several seats including Kingston.
While the NDP will still form the official opposition, Andrea Horwath announced she will step aside as the party's Ontario leader after 13 years.
The Liberal leader, Stephen Del Duca, failed to win in his Vaughan-Woodbridge riding, while Mike Schreiner of the Greens won again in Guelph.
Overall, the voter turnout for this election was incredibly underwhelming, with polling sources estimating under 50% of those eligible cast their vote.
Story by Owen Fullerton, YGK News, for the Local Journalism Initiative