June 8, 2018 5:30 am
Updated: June 8, 2018 9:28 am

Everything you need to know about Ontario’s historic election night

Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford reacts after winning the Ontario provincial election to become the new premier in Toronto, on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Nathan Denette/CP

Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party will form a majority government at Queen’s Park, after winning the Ontario provincial election on Thursday night.

Premier-elect Ford will become the 26th leader of the province, and the first from the PC Party since 2003.

READ MORE: Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives win majority government

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The win comes after a tumultuous few months for the party, which saw an unexpected swap in leadership just before the campaign began.

Here is everything you need to know about what happened during election night in Ontario:

Breakdown of the win

The PCs won 76 seats in the Ontario legislature. The New Democrats will form the Official Opposition with 40 seats, while the Liberals will have seven seats. The Green Party has one seat.

Many of the PC seats are concentrated in the 905 region, with Liberals and NDP holding on to urban centres and downtown Toronto.

Doug Ford’s victory speech — and its peculiar timing

Ford appeared at the PC election headquarters at the Toronto Congress Centre on Thursday night, thanking his supporters who helped him gain a majority win.

His speech started just moments after incumbent Premier Kathleen Wynne began her concession speech, which prompted criticism from political experts who said it was in poor spirit.

Generally, the election winner waits for the concession speech to end before coming on stage.

READ MORE: Ontario PC communications adviser says Doug Ford speech mix-up ‘not intentional’

Melissa Lantsman, a communications adviser for the Ontario PC Party, told Global News that the mix-up “certainly was not intentional.”

During his speech, Ford boasted that “a new day has dawned in Ontario.”

“Together we made history,” Ford said in his victory speech. “We have taken back Ontario. We have delivered a government that is for the people. A government that will respect your hard-earned tax dollars.”

The premier-designate promised he and his team would get to work right away at Queen’s Park.

Liberal defeat and Wynne’s resignation

Wynne was re-elected after a tight battle for her riding of Don Valley West, but announced she’s resigning as party leader.

She made the emotional announcement before a crowd of supporters at the Liberal headquarters, calling it a “difficult night.”

READ MORE: The story of the Ontario Liberals’ 2018 election campaign

“This has been the greatest privilege of my life,” she said, thanking party volunteers and candidates.

“Every day I have been your premier, and a minister, and an MPP. I have worked to think about your needs every single day.”

WATCH:  Kathleen Wynne resigns as head of Ontario Liberal Party

Nearly all of the cabinet ministers were defeated, including Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, and Steven Del Duca, minister of economic development.

The Liberals also lost official party status in Ontario, after winning fewer than eight seats in the legislature.

READ MORE: Kathleen Wynne won her seat, but the Liberals lost official party status

Recognized parties are entitled to speak during debates and are guaranteed the opportunity to pose questions during question period. They receive public money to establish party offices to help them with research and other organizational tasks. All that could change for the Liberals.

NDP steps up as official Opposition

Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDPs have formed the Official Opposition for the first time since 1987.

While the NDP took many seats away from the Liberals in Toronto’s downtown, it was the seat-heavy 905-region that they lost to Ford.

READ MORE: NDP sweeps all 8 downtown Toronto ridings in Ontario election

In the end, Horwath said she was proud of their campaign.

“From the very start of this campaign, people wanted change,” Horwath said on Thursday night in her speech. “And I could not be more proud that we offered a positive vision.”

“We will keep fighting for you,” she reiterated.

WATCH: Andrea Horwath full speech after being named Official Opposition 

She also noted that “we have won more seats than they have had in a generation,” to chants of, “Andrea!”

Notable wins include Toronto-St. Paul, which was represented by former Liberal health minister Eric Hoskins, and the riding of Beaches-East York, where the NDP’s Rima Berns-McGown defeated incumbent Arthur Potts of the Liberals.

Greens make history (with one seat)

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner made history as the first Green Party MPP elected in Ontario.

He said he hopes his success can lead to a jumping point for the rest of his party, like it did in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

READ MORE: Mike Schreiner becomes first Green Party candidate to be elected in Ontario

“If we look at the success of Green parties in other provinces, it always starts with one leader being elected,” he said.

WATCH:  Mike Schreiner addresses Green Party supporters after projected win 

What’s next?

Ford’s PCs will now prepare to form a government, and the incoming premier will select his ministers. Wynne will begin to wrap up her government.

Horwath will prepare a shadow cabinet.

READ MORE: PCs win Ontario election — here’s a look at the promises Doug Ford made

It’s unclear when Ford will be sworn in as premier, but it is expected to happen in the coming weeks.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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