According to a recent Nanos poll conducted for the Globe and Mail, after health care, the economy/jobs is the top concern of Ontario voters this fall election. Ontario voters may be interested on how employment growth has fared in their particular neck of the woods under various political regimes.
For Ontario as a whole average employment growth was greatest during the period of Conservative rule from 1995 to 2003, which of course also coincided with a long and spectacular economic boom. It was, not surprisingly, lowest during the recessionary period from 1990 to 1995 – a period of NDP governance. As for the Liberal period, it saw employment growth greater than the NDP but lower than the Conservatives. This period caught the tail end of the boom era as well as the Great Recession.
What is more interesting is the regional variation. During the NDP era, though Ontario as a whole saw negative employment growth, some regions weathered the recession reasonably well – namely, Muskoka-Kawarthas, Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie, London, and Northwestern Ontario. However, vote-rich regions like Ottawa, the GTA, Hamilton Niagara and Windsor-Sarnia saw negative growth, which upon reflection may have been another factor during the election that saw the defeat of the Rae government.
During the Conservative era, a rising tide lifted all boats in terms of employment growth rates but growth was the greatest in the GTA, Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie, Hamilton-Niagara, Ottawa and the Muskokas. As for the Liberal period, growth is again the greatest in these regions but there was also negative employment growth in Windsor-Sarnia and the Northwest.
For the most part, whatever the regime, the Muskoka region, the GTA and Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie has tended to do better than the provincial average when it comes to employment growth. All the other regions have generally performed more poorly. This may be more a reflection of the concentration of economic activity in central Ontario than any specific comment on the effect of political party in power on the economy. I suppose it would be even more interesting to see how these regions actually voted but it may not be as important as you think. For example, Northwestern Ontario did not elect Conservatives during the 1995-2003 period and elected mainly Liberals for the 2003 to 2011 period and yet performed much worse during the latter period. I suppose political representation is ultimately no protection from exogenous economic shocks.