Andrea Horwath gets tough and feisty

David Coletto
Toronto Sun

It’s all Andrea Horwath’s fault.

Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals blame her for not supporting their budget.

A handful of long-time NDP activists in her party blame her for shifting to the political centre and abandoning core social democratic principles in her effort to win the Ontario election.

Pundits have criticized her campaign for drifting and not offering voters a clear vision for the province.

Our polling indicates that while she’s the most popular leader in the province, NDP support has not improved since the start of the campaign.

It’s tough being the NDP leader these days.

But on Monday, the NDP unveiled a new Horwath: tough, feisty, and not afraid to go negative. Gone are all the smiles and good cheer.

During the leaders’ debate in Thunder Bay, Horwath went after Wynne and the Liberals on the gas plant scandal over and over again. She used words like “corrupt” and “waste” dozens of times.

This new approach makes sense when we consider recent findings of the Sun News Network/Abacus Data polls.

The NDP is stuck in third place. Despite fatigue with the Liberals, scandals, controversy hanging over the premier’s office and a Progressive Conservative campaign that has so far failed to win support beyond those who voted PC in 2011, the NDP cannot seem to break the 25% mark in the polls.

Moreover, the Liberals have been effective at making the election a two-horse race — a choice between two different economic visions for the province — the so-called red door versus blue door.

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