THUNDER BAY – The last poll before the election that Angus Reid is publishing has just been released. The poll shows that it is likely the Ontario Liberals could form a third majority government if the trend is right. The numbers however are far closer once the margin of error is factored into the figures.
The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll of the Ontario provincial electoral campaign shows a significant late shift that has propelled the governing Liberal Party to first place. The online survey of a representative sample of 1,003 Ontario adults—including 747 absolutely certain voters—was conducted in the final two days of the campaign.
Across the province, 37 per cent of absolutely certain voters would cast a ballot for the Liberal Party candidate in their riding, while 33 per cent would back the Progressive Conservative contender. The provincial New Democratic Party (NDP) is third with 26 per cent, followed by the Green Party with three per cent. One per cent of respondents would vote for other parties or independent candidates.
The Liberal surge is particularly evident in the 416 region (52%) and Southwest Ontario (42%). Conversely, the Tory advantage in the 905 region has dwindled to just six points. The Grits also have recovered support from women (40%) and are statistically tied with the Tories among male voters (34% to 35%). In addition, two-in-five absolutely certain voters aged 18-to-34 (41%) would back the Grits, while the NDP has fallen to 31 per cent in this demographic.
The late change in Liberal fortunes lies in the unmistakable return of Ontarians who supported the governing party in the 2007 election. In this final survey of absolutely certain voters, the retention rate for the Liberals is 75 per cent, compared to 66 per cent in the middle of the campaign. While the Liberals were losing 17 per cent of their 2007 voters to the Progressive Conservatives three weeks ago, the proportion has dropped to just eight per cent.
In addition, three-in-five Liberal voters (75%) now say they will not change their mind on election day. This proportion of committed Grit supporters is closer to the Progressive Conservatives (81%) and decidedly higher than the level shown by the NDP (63%) and the Greens (50%).
From October 4 to October 5, 2011, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,003 randomly selected Ontario adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists, including 747 absolutely certain voters. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1% for the entire sample, and +/- 3.6% for the sample of absolutely certain voters, 19 times out of 20.
The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.