PC leadership hopefuls bring little to race
Chow as NDP leader changes the equation
1st, 2014 – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum
Poll™ among 1104 Ontario voters, vote shares for the Progressive Conservative
party are lower when actual leadership contenders are named than when no leader
is named, but when Olivia Chow is proposed as leader of the Ontario New
Democrats, the balance of probabilities changes considerably.
Liberals with 5 point lead in generic
In the generic
horserace, where no leaders are named, results are very similar to the recent
election, and 4-in-10 will vote Liberal if a provincial election were held
today (40%), while just more than a third will vote PC (35%). In this scenario,
the NDP take a fifth of the vote (19%), and the Greens (4%) and other parties
take few (2%).
Two seat majority seen for Liberals
results were projected up to seats in a 107 seat Legislature, the Liberals
would take a two seat majority of 56, to 37 for the PCs, up from 28 in the
election. Under this scenario, the NDP would take 14 seats, well down from the
21 actually held after June 12.
Elliott is strongest contender for PCs
Among the 5
current contenders for the PC leadership (and Doug Ford), Christine Elliott
posts the most promising trial heats, followed by Ford. Nevertheless, her vote
share is lower than that recorded for the PCs in the generic horserace. If she
is leader, the Liberals take a 4-in-10 share (41%) to just less than a third
for the PCs (32%) and almost a quarter for the NDP (22%). Of note, in all trial
heat scenaria, the NDP do better than in the generic horserace. Lisa MacLeod
posts the least positive results, driving the Liberal vote up to close to half
(44%) while suppressing the PC vote below 3-in-10 (28%). Doug Ford keeps the
Liberal vote lower than anyone but Elliott (42%), but has disappointing results
among PCs (27%). All other stated contenders do about this well or slightly
Chow changes the arithmetic
Chow is proposed as leader of the New Democrats, the balance of power shifts
considerably, and the horserace actually starts to look like a horserace. With
her named as leader, the NDP take close to 3-in-10 votes (28%), tied with the
PCs for second place (29%) right behind the Liberals (33%).
Elliott, Ford are 1-2 in voters' hearts
When voters are
asked which of the five contenders (and Doug Ford) they expect to win the
leadership, Christine Elliott is first among all voters (26%) followed by Doug
Ford (18%) and Lisa MacLeod (7%). Fully one third don't have an opinion (35%).
Among PC voters, however, results are much more clear. One third prefer Elliott
(34%), followed closely by one quarter who prefer Ford (24%). Among this group,
the undecideds are not as numerous (26%). No other contenders are mentioned by
as many as about one twentieth.
Wynne's favourables up sharply, Horwath
favourables have bounced back from a post-election low and are now close to
half (46% approve, up from 41% last month). While Jim Wilson still makes little
impression as interim PC leader (23% now, 18% last month), Andrea Horwath has
seen her formerly very high approval levels stagnate (31% this month and last).
In terms of net favourable scores (approve minus disapprove), both Wynne (+4)
and Wilson (-2) are close to neutral, while Horwath is in negative territory
“We all know Christine Elliott is cruising for a coronation,
but Doug Ford may prove to be a bump on
the road to that event. He has partisans in the all-important, vote-rich 905,
and that's where the PCs need to win votes to take power," said Forum Research President, Dr.
Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (416)