TORONTO, October 7, 2011 ( – Voter turnout fell to a record low of 47.6% in the Ontario provincial election, which saw the return of the Liberal Government to power, but with a minority rather than the overwhelming majority they achieved in the last election.

Campaign Life Coalition, a pro-life lobby group, maintains that many of the 380,000 eligible voters who did not bother voting were moral conservatives who felt no mainline party leader represented their values during this election campaign.

The Liberals under Premier Dalton McGuinty have retained 53 seats – one short of a majority; the Progressive Conservatives led my Tim Hudak have 37 seats; and the NDP have 17.  Of note, Liberal Education Ministry Leona Dombrowsky who carried the ball on the controversial sex-ed and equity and education programs lost her seat to Progressive Conservative Todd Smith.

“Conservative strategists blew it by failing to connect with a natural constituency for a truly, small-c conservative movement, that is, pro-life and pro-family voters. When Hudak took some wrong-headed advice and failed to respond to the abortion question, he lost pro-lifers and people of faith,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC).

“Don’t forget that the ‘small-c conservative base’ consists of both fiscal and social conservatives. PCs need to reach out with some kind of platform which appeals to this constituency,” added Hughes.

This year’s poor turnout follows a record low in 2007 of 52.1%, down from 56.9% in 2003. Over the past eight years, approximately 790,000 eligible voters chose to stay home rather than vote.

Mary Ellen Douglas, CLC National Organizer, maintains that this represents a steady turning away of largely social conservative voters by the Ontario PCs: “Some Conservatives strategists labour under the false impression that moral conservatives have no choice but to vote PC. They do have another choice – stay home and watch hockey instead. ”


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