By Chris Pickup

Haldimand Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett romped handily home in his seventh contiguous election win last night, with more than 57 per cent of the vote.

As he wryly noted on twitter this morning, “I’m afraid I’ve inherited this business from ancestors going back to the Irish Parliament before the Act of Union 1799; the British House of Commons 1800 to 1850, and my grandfather after the war.”

Barrett’s win was no surprise. He was there for Mike Harris’ common sense revolution and he hasn’t been out of office since.

All the signs were there from Wednesday night’s uproarious welcome for Doug Ford by 750 people who turned out to the rally at the Caledonia fairgrounds. Haldimand mayor Ken Hewitt and councillors Shirton and Grice also attended the rally.

Turnout for this election was coincidentally pretty much the same as for Harris’ second term, at an unofficial 58%, higher than any time in recent years and highlighting the massive discontent all across the province.

New Ontario premier Doug Ford delivered on his GTA promise as his solid 76 seat majority crushed Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals into the dust, losing party status with only 7 seats. Horwath’s NDP scored 40 seats to become the official opposition and the Green Party 1.

The PCs now face the daunting task of hauling Ontario out of the massive debt the Liberals have swamped the province with. No doubt there will be rounds of belt-tightening, but in reality there is no other choice.

Local results (unofficial) are:

PC Toby Barrett

28,889 votes 57.10% share

NDP Danielle du Sablon

13,609 votes 26.9% share

Liberal Dan Matten

4,656 votes 9.2% share

Greens Anne Faulkner

2,095 votes 4.14 % share

NAP Dan Preston

817 votes 1.61% share