While eligible Ontario voters voted a Progressive Conservative majority Thursday night, students across the province went another way, electing the New Democrats instead.
More than 280,000 elementary and high school students made sure their voices were heard in the 2018 Ontario Student Vote — a province-wide program run by Civix, a national education charity, that aims to foster greater civic engagement among youth.
In a parallel mock election, more than 280,000 elementary and high school students cast ballots in the 2018 Ontario Student Vote, electing an NDP majority government. (Civix)
Students at 2,166 schools representing all 124 provincial ridings cast their ballots between May 31 and June 7 in a mock election that ran parallel to the real one.
The student vote saw the NDP win a majority with 66 seats and 32 per cent of the vote. The PCs became the official opposition, winning 45 seats with 27 per cent of the vote.
Unlike in the real election, the students voted to let the Liberals keep official party status, with 11 seats and 19 per cent of the vote.
The students voted to let party leaders Andrea Horwath and Doug Ford win their respective districts, Hamilton Centre and Etobicoke North, but Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne lost her long-time seat representing Don Valley West to the riding’s NDP candidate.
While the Green Party made history with its first seat in the real election, the party gained two in the student vote: One in Guelph — where leader Mike Schreiner also won on Thursday — and another in Parry Sound—Muskoka.
Thirteen per cent of the students voted for the Green Party.
The real election saw the PC majority win 76 seats, the NDP 40, the Liberals’ seven and one for the Greens.
That result came as a surprise to young voters from East York Collegiate Institute, in a riding the students handed to the NDP.