Ontarians are heading to the ballot boxes Thursday to decide who will be moving into Queen's Park to form the province's 40th legislative assembly.

Polling stations opened at 9 a.m. (8 a.m. CT), allowing voters to weigh in after a heated four-week campaign of promises, speeches and photo-ops.

The results of the vote may signal a significant shift in Ontario politics, with the province poised to have a minority government for the first time in 16 years.

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Surveys suggest the province is indeed headed into minority territory, with either the Liberals or Progressive Conservatives in power. Analysts say that leaves Andrea Horwath's New Democrats in a crucial position: election kingmaker.

Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty appeared confident as he voted in his Ottawa riding Thursday afternoon, saying he felt a sense of momentum that could push the leader to his third-straight majority.

McGuinty urged his fellow Liberal candidates to continue trying to rally support for as long as possible.

PC Leader Tim Hudak was among the thousands of voters who hit the advance polls. He cast his ballot on Sept. 25 at a station in Stoney Creek, Ont.

Hudak is the only election frontrunner who intended to push his campaign right to the wire, with campaign stops scheduled well into late Thursday afternoon.

He wrapped up his month-long battle for Ontario's top job at a Tim Hortons, where he received a coffee with "good luck" written on the lid.

Both McGuinty and Horwath have a single task scheduled before the polls close on Thursday: casting their own ballots.

Horwath voted in their Hamilton riding Thursday afternoon, where her 18-year-old son Julian voted for the first time. Julian told reporters that he was proud of what his mother had accomplished, confirming that she did receive his vote.

While speculation about a possible minority coalition has been swirling around Horwath's campaign, the NDP leader reiterated that she remained focused on getting her party into power.

Recent figures from Elections Ontario suggest thousands of voters have already decided who to vote for.

The agency said Monday that 624,958 voters from across the province cast ballots at advance polls, which were open between Sept. 21 and 30.

Those numbers show early voter turnout is up from the 451,949 electors who chose to cast early ballots four years ago.

Have you cast your ballot yet?

Eligible voters can vote at specific locations between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT)

Information on where to vote is available on Ontario's voter registration cards, which were mailed out several weeks ago. Electors should arrive at the polling station with their voter registration card and one piece of valid identification.

Additional information is available via Elections Ontario.

• Watch live election coverage on Thursday, Oct. 6 on CTV, CTVNews.ca and CTV News Channel and your local CTV website starting at 9 p.m. ET