THUNDER BAY – The latest wave of the Nanos Ontario poll tracking suggests that the McGuinty Liberals and Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives are now statistically tied in the polls.
The latest results show the PCs stand at 34.7% compared to 34.0% for the Grits, while support for the NDP has dropped for the first time in nearly a year (22.1%, down 6.4 points since May). Ballot support for the Greens remained steady at at 6.8%.
On the Nanos Leadership Index, Dalton McGuinty and Tim Hudak remain in close contention for the top spot, at 57.5 and 52.5, respectively. Leadership numbers for Andrea Horwath continued to slide, placing the NDP leader at 37.5 on the Index (down by 6 points since May).
Healthcare continued to resonate as an issue for Ontarians, selected by more than one in three (35.3%) as their most important provincial issue of concern. Jobs/economy (21.8%) was the biggest mover on the issue tracking, up five points since May.
Asked which party leader they trusted most to manage a number of key issues, Ontarians opted for Tim Hudak over nearest rival Dalton McGuinty four times out of six. Compared to August 2011, McGuinty has seen double-digit drops in trust on several issues. As a result, Hudak leads McGuinty on trust to manage the economy (28.6% versus 20.4%), taxes (27.0% versus 19.7%), electricity costs (24.1% versus 14.3%) and, to a certain extent, the environment (17.4% versus 13.0%). Hudak and McGuinty remained tied when it came to trust to managing healthcare (21.7% versus 21.5%) and education (23.5% versus 24.4%).