Key facts for following tonight's poll results.What were the results in the last election on June 3, 1999? The Conservatives captured 59 seats with 45 per cent of the votes. The Liberals won 35 seats with 40 per cent of the votes. The New Democrats took nine seats with 12.5 per cent of the votes.
These standings have changed and there were 56 Conservatives, 36 Liberals, nine New Democrats, one independent and one vacancy at dissolution of the Legislature on Sept. 2.
How many people are likely to vote?
Elections Ontario says there are about eight million eligible voters in the 103 ridings. In recent elections about 60 per cent of the eligible voters have turned out, which would see about 4.8 million people cast ballots. In 1995 voter turnout was 62.9 per cent. In 1999, it was 58.3 per cent.
What are the special provisions giving employees time to vote?
Every voter is entitled to have three consecutive hours during which the polls are open - between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. - in order to vote. If three consecutive polling hours are available on your own time, employers need not allow additional time for voting. If you do not have this time available outside your work hours, you must request the time and it must be convenient to your employer; but the employer must allow it.
Where can I watch the results?
Election coverage starts at 7 p.m. on CBC television and Newsworld; at 7:30 p.m. on Global's CH Hamilton; and at 8 p.m. on CTV and CITYTV. You can also go to http://www.globeandmail.com for continually updated results.
What do the advance polls tell us?
The unofficial estimate of the votes cast at the advance polls was 344,564, or about 7 per cent of the expected turnout. This would be much higher than normal and could indicate greater interest in this election.
Why do we vote on Thursdays in Ontario?
In 1968 a select committee of the legislature that was revising election laws decided that votes should be held on the same day of the week. Mondays and Fridays were excluded because they connect to weekends and that could push down turnouts. At that time, many businesses in the old Ontario closed on Wednesday afternoons, so that day was ruled out. When statutory holidays fall on a Monday, then Tuesday becomes the first day of the work week, so it was ruled out. That left Thursdays.
Ridings to watch
Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey: Premier Ernie Eves is expected to hold the seat he won by 3,560 votes in May, 2002. But he could be defeated if there is a province-wide Liberal sweep.
for complete results from Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey.
Guelph-Wellington: Community Services Minister Brenda Elliott faces a strong challenge from the Liberal, Liz Sandals, former president of the Ontario Public School Boards Association.
for complete results from Guelph-Wellington.
Huron-Bruce: Agriculture Minister Helen Johns has had an uphill fight against Liberal Carol Mitchell.
for complete results from Huron-Bruce.
London-North Centre: Universities Minister Dianne Cunningham could be defeated by Liberal Deb Matthews.
for complete results from London-North Centre.
Kitchener-Waterloo: Education Minister Elizabeth Witmer is having a tougher-than-expected battle against Liberal Sean Strickland.
for complete results from Kitchener-Waterloo.
Waterloo-Wellington: Ted Arnott, a well-respected three-term Conservative, is facing Liberal Deborah Whale. If Mr. Arnott falls, paint the province Liberal red.
for complete results from Waterloo-Wellington.
Brampton West-Mississauga: Health Minister Tony Clement is being challenged by Liberal Vic Dhillon, despite intensive constituency work and a high profile in the government.
for complete results fromBrampton West-Mississauga.
Markham: Management Board Chair Dave Tsubouchi is running in what many consider among the safest Conservative ridings in the province.
for complete results from Markham.
Oak Ridges: Transportation Minister Frank Klees should retain his seat, which could leave him as one of the key players in his party in the future.
for complete results from Oak Ridges.
Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge: Finance Minister Janet Ecker faces a strong challenge from Pickering Mayor Wayne Arthurs.
for complete results from Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge.
Whitby-Ajax: Enterprise Minister Jim Flaherty has been running a campaign boosted by many devotees to the Common Sense Revolution who hope he will return to the legislature as, potentially, the next leader of the party.
for complete results fromWhitby-Ajax.
Leeds-Grenville: Public Security Minister Bob Runciman is being challenged by Liberal Steven Mazurek. Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty made this his last campaign stop yesterday and maybe he knew something.
for complete results from Leeds-Greenville.
Nepean-Carleton: Energy Minister John Baird is being challenged by Liberal Rod Vanier. Mr. Baird doubled the vote of his Liberal opponents in both 1995 and 1999. But that was then and this is now.
for complete results from Nepean-Carleton.
Nipissing: Al McDonald, who retained the riding of former premier Mike Harris by only 19 votes for the Conservatives in May, 2002, is facing a strong challenge from Monique Smith, the former chief of staff to Mr. McGuinty.
for complete results from Nipissing.
Don Valley West: Three-term MPP David Turnbull could be taken down by Toronto School Board trustee Kathleen Wynne.
for complete results from Don Valley West.
Scarborough East: Steve Gilchrist, considered the most secure of the three Conservative MPPs in Scarborough, could be defeated by Mary-Anne Chambers, a star candidate for the Liberals.
for complete results from Scarborough East.
Willowdale: Municipal Affairs Minister David Young, considered a potential leader of the Conservative Party who could appeal to moderate voters, is being strongly challenged by Liberal David Zimmer.
for complete results from Willowdale.
Hasting-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington: One-term MPP Leona Dombrowsky could be ousted by Conservative Barry Gordon in a long-time Tory riding in Ontario's small-c conservative heartland.
for complete results from Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington.
Prince Edward-Hastings: Ernie Parsons won by only 56 votes in 1999 and is being pushed by Conservative John Williams in another riding in the conservative heartland.
for complete results from Prince Edward-Hastings.
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke: Liberal Derek Nighbor is trying to hold the riding vacated by long-time MPP Sean Conway. Conservative John Yakabuski could take it, given his family name recognition and the fact the riding was one of two that elected a Canadian Alliance MP in the 2000 federal election.
for complete results from Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.
Stormont-Dundas-Charlottenburgh: Another Liberal, Jim Brownell, is trying to hold the riding vacated by veteran MPP John Cleary against a challenge from Conservative Todd Lalonde.
for complete results from Stormont-Dundas-Charlottenburgh.
Nickel Belt: Veteran MPP Shelley Martel is fighting off a challenge from Liberal Alex McCauley, the former chief of police in Sudbury.
for complete results from Nickel Belt.
Trinity-Spadina: Three-term MPP Rosario Marchese could fall to Liberal Nellie Pedro, a Toronto School Board trustee, in a riding where the demographics have changed substantially in the past 10 years.
for complete results from Trinity-Spadina.