The tepid leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Steven Del Duca, received yet another blow today after star politician Michael Coteau announced his candidacy for Trudeau’s federal Liberals.
Coteau will leave the Ontario Liberals to seek a seat in the GTA riding of Don Valley East, which is where his "kids go to school and where I’ve lived for most of my life." Coteau has represented this riding for over a decade in provincial politics.
Coteau’s decision to leave may have been influenced by Del Duca’s dismal polling, leaving the Liberal Party spluttering behind Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives.
Polling conducted by Mainstreet Research in February shows Del Duca’s Liberals receiving a soppy 25 percent of support from Ontario voters. Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives, on the other hand, received a desk-thumping 43 percent.
The bad news hasn’t stopped there. According to a Leger Tracker, over 55 percent of Ontarians are content with the Premier’s handling of the pandemic.
Michael Coteau ran against Del Duca in the Liberal leadership contest following Kathleen Wynne’s historic election defeat. He finished in a respectable second place.
Speaking to the Liberal-friendly Toronto Star, Coteau attempted to persuade Ontarians that he was not jumping off Del Duca’s swiftly sinking ship, saying "Steven and I have a really good friendship"
"I will always be a provincial Liberal just as I have always been a federal Liberal," he added.
Del Duca, however, was slightly more emotional: “I told Michael, I don’t want him to go, I want him to stay. But I respect him and I respect his family and I respect his commitment to public service."
Former political staffer and Toronto Sun columnist Warren Kinsella was slightly more terse in his analysis, tweeting that "this is a disaster for the Ontario Liberals."