Miller time again in PS-Muskoka

Mark Clairmont |

BRACEBRIDGE — The Big Blue Machine is back on the road with a new driver at the wheel.

Norm Miller gave himself the thumbs up before voting ended Thursday.

And Norm Miller is riding shot gun for Doug Ford, as the PC Party swept the province Thursday night in what was somewhat of a surprise to most Ontarians.

But not to the small but enthusiastic crowd here at the Kirrie Glen golf course in Bracebridge

An hour after the polls closed, a growing crowd of 50 or more stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Miller, his wife Christine and his son Stewart as the results trickled in due to a few late polls having trouble reporting.

The mood around Miller was more jubilant and boisterous than in his past elections.

Miller said in the final minutes of voting that he wasn’t overly confident.

“I never take it for granted here or across the province. I really don’t,” said the veteran politician, who said he didn’t campaign any harder this time than for past votes.

“I’m hoping for a majority.”

He said he finds leader Ford (“He was here in the riding twice.) honest,

“He’s a fiscal Conservative, the kind we need.”

“I hope he’s going to surprise people” with positive results.

“We have the best team,” said Miller, who defied the odds before in 2001 when he won the Conservative nomination against Patrick Boyer, a retired Etobicocke Tory MP and son of former longtime Tory Muskoka MPP Bob Boyer.

At 10:10 p.m. he and his supporters confirmed the vote.