Ontario Election Race Tightens

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Ipsos Reid Poll
Ipsos Reid Poll shows Ontario race is getting tighter
Ipsos Reid Poll
Ipsos Reid Poll shows Ontario race is getting tighter

NDP Lead in the North – Ipsos Reid

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario provincial election race is tightening, with a 7-point gap separating first place from third among decided voters, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CTV and CP24. Most Ontarians remain entrenched in their desire for change, but no consensus is emerging on which party and leader should take the reins at Queen’s Park following Election Day on June 12.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath is beginning to cut through the noise created by the frontrunners, while Tim Hudak’s controversial jobs plan appears to have halted the momentum that the Tories were building, and Kathleen Wynne’s support levels are stagnant.

Among likely voters – those who say nothing short of an emergency could stop them from getting to the polling station – the Tories hold an 11-point lead over second-place Liberals.

If the election were held tomorrow, the Progressive Conservatives under Tim Hudak would receive 35% support among decided voters (down 4 points since last week), while the Liberals under Premier Kathleen Wynne would receive 31% support (up 1 point). The New Democratic Party, led by Andrea Horwath, would receive 28% of the vote (up 4 points), while 6% would vote for some other party, including the Green Party led by Mike Schreiner (down 1 point). Two in ten (19%) Ontarians remain undecided (down 1 point).

The results within the major regions of the province show some competitive dogfights:

In the 905 area of the GTA, the Tories (39%) have a 5-point lead over the Liberals (34%), while the NDP (24%) and others (3%) trail.

In the 416, Toronto proper, the Liberals (40%) have an 8-point lead over the NDP (32%), while the Progressive Conservatives (22%) struggle in third place, and others lag behind (6%).

In Southwest Ontario, the Tories (38%) have a lead over the NDP (32%), while the Liberals (21%) are in third position over other parties (10%).

In Central Ontario, the PCs (45%) enjoy a lead over the Liberals (34%) and NDP (17%), while other parties (4%) are not competitive.

In Eastern Ontario, the Tories (46%) are also in the lead, ahead of the Liberals (35%), NDP (16%), and other parties (3%).

In Northern Ontario, the NDP (48%) remains very strong, with the PCs (26%), Liberals (17%) and other parties (10%) struggling to keep up.

Ballot Box Bonus Belongs to Progressive Conservatives…

The data reveal that while the province-wide race is tightening among the general population, among the 47% 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 PCs (41%, +6) remain well ahead of the Liberals (30%, -1) and the NDP (26%, -2), while support for other parties drops down to 3% (-3). Tory voters are the most committed to show up, while the NDP and Liberals might struggle to get out their vote.

Moreover, a majority (53%) of current Tory voters are ‘absolutely certain’ that this is the party that they will support on June 12, compared to 42% of NDP voters, 37% of Liberal voters, and 25% of those who would vote for another party.

The Tory vote is most committed to their party and most committed to show up and vote.

The Potential for Vote Switching…

With most NDP and Liberal voters are not absolutely certain that they’ll stick with their party, and with 19% of Ontarians completely undecided about whom they would vote for, the potential for a significant shift in the standings still exists.

Liberal voters are more likely to name the NDP (41%) as their second choice than the Tories (14%) or some other party (12%).

Tory voters are more likely to name the NDP (25%) as their second choice than the Liberals (15%) or some other party (14%).

NDP voters are more likely to name the Liberals (39%) than the Tories (19%) or another party (19%) as their second choice.

These data suggest that the potential for significant changes in support is more plausible among the Liberals and the NDP than it is among the Progressive Conservatives. In other words, at this stage the PCs only have limited room for growth from vote switching; the Liberals and NDP have a greater potential for growth if supporters of these two parties decide to rally around one party at the expense of the other, something that the data suggest is a distinct possibility.

Most (72%) Ontarians Say it’s Time for a Change…

Nearly three quarters (72%) of Ontarians are of the opinion that ‘it is time for another provincial party to take over and run the province’. In contrast, three in ten (28%) think that the ‘Liberal government under Premier Kathleen Wynne has done a good job and deserves to be re-elected during the next provincial election’, a figure that typically tracks closely to the percentage of the vote the incumbent receives on Election Day.

And while one in three (32%) Ontarians believe that Liberal Leader Premier Kathleen Wynne would make the best Premier of Ontario, the leader of the most popular party – Tim Hudak of the Progressive Conservatives – polls well behind (30%) 3rd party NDP Leader Andrea Horwath (38%) as the major party leader who would make the best Premier of Ontario.
In short, the Tories are more popular than their leader Tim Hudak, while NDP leader Andrea Horwath is more popular than her party.

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