Global spoke with University of Guelph political science professor Tamara Small, who characterized Wynne's move as a selfless attempt to rescue the Ontario Liberal Party from oblivion: "She's saying, 'I'm not going to destroy this organization with my own personal hubris'".
"I mean, it must have been a very hard for her to talk about [how] there will be a new government on June 7". "We know Andrea Horwath and her NDP team will stand up not just for these industries, but specifically for workers in Ontario", said Ken Neumann, USW National Director. "And I'm okay with that", she said.
The premier - tears streaming down her face and her voice breaking up at times - appealed to voters to set aside their feelings about her and support Liberal candidates so that they can keep the next government in check.
She stopped short of stepping down as party leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario and indicated that there was no one single event or issue that pushed her to the decision to publicly concede before voters even went to the polls.
"He won't tell anyone what his platform is either", she said. "They just make no sense and they put so many families at risk". "What's worrisome is we have a leader who's trying to take the chair of the premier in this province and he's not being honest with people".
Wynne's push for more Liberal votes won't mean a minority government, Horwath added, but instead help Ford capture a majority.
The Tories began the campaign with a significant lead only to find themselves now battling the NDP for first place in the polls, which also show the Liberals falling further behind both.
"It is a logical next step", she said.
Speaking at a campaign stop in Toronto, Horwath said she expected a close election on Thursday.
"That's going to sort itself out - people are going to make that decision ... it's going to be one or the other and let's make sure there are enough Liberals there that there isn't a blank cheque - that there's a check on a majority government".
Ford, meanwhile, had little to say about Wynne's announcement, noting only that the election is about change and people are fed up with the Liberals.
"Kathleen Wynne has abandoned the fight against Doug Ford cuts".
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath visited the campaign office of London North Centre candidate Judy Bryant in London, Ont. on Friday May 16, 2014.
Marie-France Lalonde, the party's candidate in Ottawa-Orleans and a former minister in Wynne's government, said the announcement won't dissuade her from door knocking.
"They're going to be choosing a person to lead them who will be in some very tricky, very delicate negotiations with USA officials", Wynne said.
"I don't think we're there yet". The NDP leader has been pushing for Liberal voters to join them to stop a Ford win.