But overall, it truly was a night of Progressive Conservative domination, including a win in Ottawa West-Nepean, which turned out to be one of the tightest races anywhere in Ontario.
The Liberals, who have been in government for the past 15 years, could drop to single-digit seats in the legislature, losing official party status.
"You may get an opposition more grounded in the lives of "ordinary Ontarians" than in the outrages of upper middle-class Ontarians who won't feel the material effects of a Ford premiership", Peter Graefe, a McMaster University political science professor said on Thursday.
The Progressive Conservative Party, led by populist Doug Ford, has won victory in Ontario, Canada's most populous province, ending 15 years of Liberal rule, Canadian networks projected on Thursday. Technically speaking, the party's constitution requires that NDP members vote on whether she should stay on as party leader at their next general convention, but it's hard to imagine Horwath going anywhere until after the next election, given last night's success. The Green Party meanwhile, picked up its first ever seat in the province.
"This election outcome addresses a number of key concerns in the business sector - a pause in minimum wage increases; a number of measures to address energy costs, most significantly scrapping the cap-and-trade program; and tax rate reductions", said Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. "We owe so much to Rob's legacy", he said.
Speaking in English and French, Wynne gave a shout out to communities all over Ontario and addressed civil servants, teachers, cleaners, elder care workers, construction workers, transit employees, small tech business owners, restaurateurs, parents of disabled children, First Nations communities, farmers, auto employees, miners, entertainers, musicians, and artists.
Voters appeared to agree, buying instead into Ford's promises to cut taxes and rein in government spending by finding billions in unspecified waste - something Horwath failed to effectively counter. Rob Ford died of cancer in March 2016.
Led by Andrea Horwath, the NDP earned 34% of the vote.
Ford won his seat in Etobicoke North, and Horwath held her seat in Hamilton Centre, where she has served as an MPP since 2004. "Her folksy populism, if sustained, could be a very effective counter to Ford once Ford has to make trade-offs".
His campaign drew both praise and criticism.
Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne also painted New Democrats as radical ideologues and urged left-leaning voters to stop Horwath from forming a majority government.
This was Horwath's third election campaign since becoming leader of the Ontario NDP in 2009.
Ford succeeds Kathleen Wynne, a five-year incumbent who conceded last week that she was headed for defeat. There were media reports of problems with tabulating machines at a handful of polls.
Elections Ontario, which also has the option of counting ballots by hand, extended voting at six polls, citing an "interruption to voting hours".
Well, the dust has cleared, the sun has risen in the east just like it always does, and it's a new day in Ontario: voters have elected a healthy Progressive Conservative majority led by Doug Ford and will be sending 124 MPPs from four different parties to a new session of the province's legislature.
"Today, millions of people voted for change for the better".