THUNDER BAY – If a provincial election were held in Ontario right now, according to a Forum Poll™ released this morning, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives would form a minority government. If you have wondered why Premier McGuinty has pulled few punches in pushing the New Democrats to support his budget, those moves could be explained by the latest polling data released in the Forum Poll™.
Forum Research reports, “More than one third would vote for the PCs if an election were held today (38%), compared to 1-in-3 who would vote NDP (30%). The Liberals draw the support of one quarter (26%), for a 12 point deficit to the PCs. Not only are these numbers stable from earlier this month when we polled last, they are almost identical to those found when respondents are asked who they would vote for in a snap election caused by the NDP refusing to vote for the budget. In other words, the circumstances of a snap election confer no special benefits or drawbacks on any of the parties”.
“Taking in to account margin for error, these voting intention results—if they hold on Election Day – would see the Conservatives take 58 seats in the 107 seat legislature, up from 52 earlier this month and well up from the 37 taken in last fall’s election. The Liberals would capture 30 seats, down from 37 earlier in the month and well down from the 53 taken in the election. The NDP would claim 19 seats, stable from 18 earlier in the month and 17 in the election. We have mentioned before that the NDP vote, while widespread, is not well-concentrated”.
The Forum Poll™ among Ontarians 18 years of age and older, reports that “Close to one half said they would hold the provincial Liberals responsible if a snap election were called because the NDP refused to vote for the budget (44%), and this is twice the proportion who would blame the NDP (23%). One-in-seven would blame the PCs (14%). Even a sizable minority of Liberal supporters would blame the Liberal party for a snap election (16%)”.
Ontarians aged 65 or older were significantly more likely to back the provincial Progressive Conservatives (27% 18-34, 39% 35-44, 34% 45-54, 38% 55-64, 47% 65+), as were those residing in Eastern Ontario (49%). The provincial NDP have more clout among younger Ontarians (40% 18-34, 30% 35-44, 31% 45-54, 30% 55-64, 47% 22+), among females (33%), and among those residing in South-western Ontario (38%). Ontarians with a lower household income were also more likely to back the provincial NDP (34% <$20K, 36% $20-$40K, 32% $40-$60K, 24% $60-$80K, 24% $80K-$100K, and 31% $100K+). Lastly, those residing in the 416 were significantly more likely to back the provincial Liberal party (36%).