City Centre Mirror
In a race that went down to the wire, Trinity-Spadina voters narrowly returned New Democrat incumbent Rosario Marchese to the provincial Legislature.
Marchese defeated Liberal challenger Sarah Thomson by a margin of just over 1,000 votes in the Oct. 6 election, with the two teetering back and forth in the polls throughout the night.
Marchese, a former school trustee, won out in the end, though he said he expected a close race all along.
"We always understand in this riding, things are tight," he said. "We've had to work hard and earn trust and we have to continue to do that."
As results came in from across the province, Marchese's narrow victory meant the difference between a Liberal majority and minority government. He said a minority government would allow for more lively debate and compromise on the floor of the Legislature, which should ensure the province is more in tune with the wants of voters.
Despite the results, Liberal Trinity-Spadina candidate Sarah Thomson was upbeat the day after her close loss to Marchese.
Thomson led Marchese in the voting for much of the night, though the longtime MPP eventually pulled out a win – his fourth in a row in Trinity-Spadina, prior to which he represented the riding of Fort York from 1990 to 1999.
The tight race also marked the fourth straight time Marchese’s margin of victory narrowed in the riding.
Thomson said her surge in the polls in what has long been a strong orange riding showed that “people want to see change.”
She stood by her party’s platform, pointing to Marchese’s incumbency as the difference-maker in the close race.
“He had a bigger team; we had a terrific response when you think about he size of our team,” she said. “(Marchese) has had a lot of years to build support and build a network in the riding.”
Thomson was known to voters after running for Mayor of Toronto in the 2010 municipal election, though in that case, she withdrew her candidacy before the actual voting. She will now return to her position as publisher of the Women’s Post.
Her showing in the Oct. 6 provincial election, however, fueled her desire to pursue politics as a career.
“You’ll probably see me running (for office) again,” she said. “I love this city and want to do what I can for this city.”
"People want these kinds of close races sometimes," he said. "If my seat means we have a minority government, it will be good for citizens."
Marchese said one of his top priorities would be to push the province to support transit initiatives. He noted that Ontario lags behind other provinces in terms of the support it provides to transit authorities.
"I believe the province has to come back and pay 50 per cent of the operating costs of the TTC," he said. "If they don't do that, transit won't improve - in fact, we'll have service reductions."
Marchese added he and his party got support through their work in ensuring measures were in place to protect condominium owners from developers who often left them high and dry through faulty development.
He also promised to fight for improvements to home care and to work to reduce reliance on nuclear power, striving instead to provide incentives through which homeowners could retrofit their homes and reduce the burden on the energy grid.