It's municipal election craziness time across Ontario so you might have missed the news, but at their recent annual general meeting, the Green Party of Ontario agreed by a margin of 96 per cent to keep Mike Schreiner as their leader. Coming out of that news though is that when the next provincial election comes around again in 2018, Schreiner will run again in Guelph.
Schreiner came to the Royal City in 2012 and was elected by the local riding association. It took another couple of years for the election to finally kick off, but in the interim, Schreiner invested a lot of time in town attending community events and meeting with voters. His efforts seemed to have paid off with an increase of 7,000 votes over 2011 candidate Steve Dyck. He's also got about 400 votes more than the previous best performance by a Green candidate in Guelph, Ben Polley in 2006.
It's worth nothing that Polley's share of the vote went up by 5,700 votes between his first run in 2003 and his second in 2007. I expect that Schreiner and his team think they will see a similar bump in the polls in the next election once he's even more established in the city.
It will be interesting to see if maybe Guelph even makes it to 2018 before the next poll. Current MPP (and Education Minister) Liz Sandals has been in her seat for going on 12 years, and many of the politicians who came in with Dalton McGuinty's first class have already decided to move on. Might there be a by-election before 2018? And might that increase Schreiner's chances of making a breakthrough outside a general election? Stay tuned.