Liberals trail PCs by 17 points

| Filed under: Ontario

Liberals trail PCs by 17 points

Brown seen as best Premier by wide margin; Wynne’s approvals plummet

TORONTO March 1st - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1148 Ontario voters, well more than 4-in-10 will vote PC if the provincial election were held today (44%), compared to just more than a quarter who would vote Liberal (27%), for a 17 point lead. The NDP would claim just more than a fifth of the vote for third place (22%), while few will vote Green (6%) or for any other party (2%). This stands in comparison to December, 2015, when The PCs led the Liberals by just 3 points (34% to 31%). At that point, the NDP had a quarter of the vote (26%). Thus, the PCs have improved by a significant margin, the Liberals and NDP have lost share equally.

The PC vote is common to the oldest (49%), males (51%) rather than females (37%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 52%), in northern Ontario (51%) and among the least educated (50%).

The Liberal vote is characteristic of the youngest (34%), females (32%) rather than males (21%), the least wealthy (often a proxy for youth - 33%), in the Toronto 416 area code (39%) and among the best educated (post grad - 32%).

The NDP vote is especially likely to be mid aged (45 to 54 - 27%), the least wealthy (31%), in southwestern Ontario (26%) and among mothers of children under 18 (30%).

Of note, close to one fifth of those who voted Liberal in the election of 2014 will vote either PC (18%) or NDP (18%) if the election were held today.

PC minority government seen if vote held today

If the results shown above are projected up to seats in the 107 seat Ontario legislature, the PCs would capture a minority of 44, 10 fewer than required for a majority, while the Liberals would claim 35 seats and the NDP 28.

Wynne’s favourables down, Brown’s up

Kathleen Wynne has the approval of just one fifth of voters (20%), and her net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a truly awful -47. This represents a slight decline from 23% approval in December, and a net of -38. Patrick Brown has the approval of 3-in-10 voters (30%), and his net is a neutral +2. This is well up from December, when he had the approval of one quarter (25%). Andrea Horwath attracts approval from close to 4-in-10 voters (38%), similar to her number in December (40%). Her net score now is a relatively positive +9, just down from previously (+13).

Thus, Kathleen Wynne underperforms her party in approval, as does Patrick Brown, significantly, while Andrea Horwath outperforms her party in approval.

Patrick Brown seen as best Premier by wide margin

Just more than a quarter of voters see Patrick Brown as the best Premier (26%), compared to considerably fewer who think this of either Kathleen Wynne (17%) or Andrea Horwath (16%). As many as a quarter say none of these leaders would make a good Premier (26%), while about half this proportion don’t have an opinion (14%).

At approval levels of just one fifth of voters, Kathleen Wynne is in no shape right now to contest an election. However, it is important to remember that the Liberal brand remains strong, and her party outperforms her personally in popularity, which is also the case with Patrick Brown. Unfortunately, Ms Horwath’s party does not seem to be able to aspire to her personal level of approval," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.