Slight Lead for Progressive Conservatives
TORONTO – Politics – If an election were held today, how would you vote? According to the latest polling, across Ontario, there would likely be another minority government. The provincial Progressive Conservatives are leading the polls with a slight lead over the Ontario Liberals and Ontario New Democrats.
For Northern Ontario, the overall results show a strong lead by the New Democrats.
Those are the findings of the latest Ipsos Reid Poll on Ontario Politics.
On the heels of two provincial by-elections on February 13, 2014 which resulted in the Hudak Tories holding a seat in the riding of Thornhill and the Horwath NDP picking off a former Liberal seat in Niagara Falls, a new Ipsos Reid poll of Ontarians, conducted in the week before the by-election, has revealed that Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives have taken a slight lead over Premier Wynne and the governing Liberals, who are now tied with the NDP led by Andrea Horwath.
If a general election were held tomorrow, the Tories would receive 34% of the vote among decided voters, up 3 points since Ipsos Reid’s last provincial poll in late 2013. By comparison, the Liberals have dropped 3 points and now sit at 31% of the total vote – exactly tied with the NDP who are also at 31% of the vote (unchanged).
Other parties, including the Green Party led by Mike Schreiner, would receive 4% of the vote (down 1 point). Nearly two in ten (16%) Ontarians remain undecided, meaning that the election – whenever it happens – is completely up for grabs by any of the major parties.
Each party receives disproportionate support from a different region of the province:
- In the 416, Toronto proper, the Liberals (43%) hold a solid advantage over the PCs (29%) and NDP (26%).
- In the 905, GTA region, the PC (48%) lead over the Liberals (28%) and NDP (20%) is comfortable.
- In Southwest Ontario, the NDP (43%) leads by a sizeable margin over the Liberals (29%) and the PCs (22%).
- In Central Ontario, the Tories (50%) are well ahead of the NDP (25%) and the Grits (22%).
- In Eastern Ontario, the PCs (41%) are leading the Liberals (30%) and NDP (22%).
- In Northern Ontario, the NDP (53%) have a healthy lead over the Liberals (28%) and Tories (19%).
The polling results for the north are based on a fairly small number of participants, however there is a very strong NDP presence. The poll numbers likely to not reflect recent comments by the Progressive Conservative candidate in Thunder Bay Superior North.
Potential actual turnout at the polls could boost Tories…
While the three parties are locked in a tight battle province-wide, the data suggest that Liberal voters are least committed to go out and actually vote. Among the 53% of Ontarians who say that ‘nothing short of an unforeseen emergency could stop me from getting to the voting booth and casting my vote’, the Progressive Conservatives receive a boost to 37%, and the NDP also strengthens to 33%. The Liberals, however, soften to just 27% of the vote.
Ontarians desire change…
Most (69%) Ontarians believe that ‘it is time for another provincial party to take over and run the province’, which is 6 points higher than it was in November of last year. In contrast, just one in three (31%) think that ‘the Liberal government under Kathleen Wynne has done a good job and deserves re-election (down 6 points). This number typically closely mirrors the vote support the incumbent receives in a re-election attempt, which suggests that the Liberals will have a tough battle to stay in power.
That Ontarians desire change is perhaps not surprising, considering that six in ten (60%) believe that Ontario is headed in the ‘wrong direction (up 6 points since April 2013), while four in ten (40%) believe it’s on the right track (down 6 points).
Hudak polls behind his party…
Despite the Tories receiving 34% of the decided vote, only 28% of Ontarians say that he is the party leader that would make the best Premier of Ontario (unchanged). By comparison, one in three (32%) believe Andrea Horwath would make the best Premier (up 3 points), and 31% say that Kathleen Wynne would make the best Premier (down 2 points). One in ten (9%) believe Mike Schreiner would make the best Premier, down 1 point.
Economy and Jobs #1 issue for Ontarians…
Presented with a dozen issues and asked to pick the one that they believe should receive the greatest attention from Ontario’s leaders, one quarter (24%) of Ontarians believe the economy and jobs is the number-one issue facing the province. It polls well ahead of any other issue, including healthcare/medicare (11%) and government accountability (11%). The full list is below.
|IssueEconomy and jobs
Social services – pensions, daycare, etc
- Debt/deficit reduction is particularly important for Conservative (16%) voters compared to current Liberal (4%) or NDP (4%) voters.
- Government accountability is also more important for Tory (17%) and NDP (14%) voters than Liberal voters (9%).