Hudak Lead Grows in Ontario Campaign 2014

Ipsos Reid Election Tracking
Ipsos Reid Election Tracking
Tim Hudak says for the money commuters are not getting value.
Tim Hudak says for the money commuters are not getting value.

Voters Starting to Solidify Opinions

Toronto, ON – Into week two of the Ontario election campaign, a new poll by Ipsos Reid conducted on behalf of CTV News and CP24 finds that Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservative Party continues to lead the race for Ontario leadership over Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and that Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats have lost some ground.

Ipsos Reid Election Tracking
Ipsos Reid Election Tracking

If the election were held tomorrow, 39% of decided voters in Ontario say they would vote for the Progressive Conservative Party under Tim Hudak, up 2 points since May 9. The Liberal Party under Premier Wynne would receive 30% of the vote (down 1 point), while the NDP under Andrea Horwath would receive 24% of the vote (down 4 points). Other parties, including Mike Schreiner’s Green Party, would receive 7% of the vote (up 3 points). Two in ten (20%) Ontarians overall remain undecided and 8% would not vote or spoil their ballot.

Shifts in regional voter intentions, compared with the poll from the start of the race, reveal changing opinions in Ontario’s key regions:

In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the Conservatives are up 5 points to 41%, the Liberals are down 1 point to 36% and the NDP are down 5 points to 18%. One in twenty (5%, down 1

In the 416 area code, the Liberals (37%) are ahead of the Progressive Conservatives (34%) and the New Democrats (21%).

In the 905, the Tories (48%) have a considerable lead over the Grits (34%) and NDP (16%).

Considerable movement in Central Ontario has led to the Tories (55%, up 16 points) significantly ahead of the NDP (19%, down 7 points) and Liberals (15%, down 16 points).

One in ten (11%, up 6 points) would vote for some other party.

Shifts in Southwest Ontario have led to a tight race, leaving the NDP in a slim lead (33%, down 5 points) over the PCs (30%, down 6 points) and the Liberals (27%, up 5 points). One in ten (11%, up 7 points) support other parties

In Eastern Ontario, four in ten (44%, down 6 points) support the Progressive Conservatives while three in ten (30%, down 4 points) support the Liberals, two in ten (23%, up 7 points) support the NDP and 3% support some other party (up 3 points).

Northern Ontario is the one region the NDP has a lead (40%, down 5 points) over the Liberals (29%, up 9 points), PCs (28%, down 1 point) and other parties (3%, down 5 points).

The real advantage for the Tories is the strength of their energized support as PC voters are more likely to cast their ballot and least likely to switch their vote– and it shows up in the critical group of people who have not only considered who they may vote for if the election were held tomorrow but who agree that “nothing short of any unforeseen emergency would stop me from getting to the voting booth and casting my vote” (50% –2).

When calculating this number it clearly shows that Tim Hudak PCs have a very significant ballot box bonus and a shot at forming a majority government. For those who appear galvanized and committed to show up at the ballot box the outcome based on today’s numbers could look like this compared to last week’s numbers:

PC: 43% (+1)
Liberal: 31% (+3)
NDP: 22% (-5)
Green/Other: 4% (+1)

Finally, Ontarians largely find the campaign activities of all parties in the first week to have had little impact. The PCs and Liberals were both more likely to have left voters disappointed than the NDP.

Tory Voters Most Likely to Show Up to Vote…

PC supporters continue to be more likely to show up and vote on Election Day. Among the 50% who say that ‘nothing short of an unforeseen emergency would stop me from getting to the voting booth and casting my vote’, 40% would vote for the PC Party (down 2 points), while 28% would vote Liberal (unchanged) and 20% would vote for the NDP (down 7 points).

…And Most Certain of Their Vote

A majority (53%) of decided voters who support the PC Party are ‘absolutely certain’ the party they currently support will be the one they support on Election Day. Their support is stronger than those who would are ‘absolutely certain’ they would vote NDP (46%) or Liberal (37%).

The Liberals now appear most hesitant about their vote choice, with 22% (up 9 points) indicating they’re ‘not certain’ (4% not at all/18% not very) that they’ll stick with the Grits, compared to 12% (down 11 points) of New Democrats who are not certain (4% not at all/9% not very) they’ll vote for the NDP, and 14% (down 2 points) of PC voters (4% not at all/10% not very) who aren’t sure they’ll vote for the Tories.

If voters cast their ballot based on their second choice, the New Democrats would see the most improvement; 17% of Ontarians would pick them second. One in ten (12%) pick the Liberals second, 7% pick the PCs second and 12% would pick some other party. Half (50%) are unsure of who their second pick would be.

Current PC supporters are more likely to pick the NDP (29%) as their second choice than the Liberal Party (14%) or another party (17%). Four in ten (40%) are unsure who their second pick would be. Meanwhile, the Liberals and New Democrats are most likely to choose each other: 37% of each party’s supporters would choose the other party for their second choice. Two in ten of NDP voters would pick the PCs (19%) second or some other party (21%) while 23% are unsure. One in eight (13%) Liberal voters would pick the PCs, 7% would pick some other party and 41% are unsure.

Voters Unmoved By First Week of Campaign

When asked how the provincial party leaders and their campaigns performed over the past week, Ontarians appear largely unmoved and slightly disappointed. About half say there was no impact by the campaigns of Andrea Horwath of the NDP (56%), Kathleen Wynne of the Liberals (48%) and Tim Hudak of the Progressive Conservatives (45%). The PCs (18% impressed, 36% disappointed) and Liberals (17% impressed, 35% disappointed) each receive a net score of -18 while the NDP has a stronger net score (-8) due to fewer people being disappointed with them (18% impressed, 26% disappointed). The majority of Ontarians (83%) say Mike Schreiner’s Green Party’s campaigning had no impact while 6% were impressed and 11% were disappointed, yielding a net score of -5.

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