Progressive Conservatives Tracking Toward Super Majority

| Filed under: Ontario

Progressive Conservatives Tracking Toward Super Majority

Liberals look to be relegated to third party after 15 years in government

Toronto, February 26th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1,120 Ontario voters, amongst decided and leaning voters, the Progressive Conservatives have extended nearly a twenty-point lead over their nearest rival in the province. If an election were held today the PCs would get (44%), the NDP (25%), the Liberals (24%), and Green (6%).

The Progressive Conservatives have a broad base of support across Ontario. They now have a clear lead in four of six regions: 905 (47%), Eastern Ontario (49%), Southwestern Ontario (42%), and North Eastern Ontario (46%), and they (37%) are statistically tied with the Liberals (34%) in Toronto. The only region where PCs don’t lead is Northwestern Ontario, where NDP hold the advantage by six percent (39% - 33%).

Third party status possible for Wynne’s Liberals

In 2018 the Ontario Legislature expands to 122 seats. If these results were projected up to seats in the expanded Legislature, the PCs would win 84, the NDP would secure 27, and the Liberals just 11.

Wynne, Brown, and Horwath all see decreased approval

Wynne has the approval of only (11%) of voters, and her net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a staggering -66, which is 6 points lower than in November (-60: Nov 23). Wynne appears to be polarizing Liberal supporters with (42%) approving of her leadership, while (40%) disapprove.

Patrick Brown has seen his approval drop as well from (28%: Nov 23) to (20%), putting his net favourable score at -3. Brown remains a strongly unknown quantity to voters as (57%) don’t know whether they approve or disapprove of him. Almost four-in-ten (38%) who indicate they will vote Progressive Conservative approve of him, but he is still unknown to the bulk of PC supporters (46%).

Andrea Horwath’s approval is down eight percent (36%: Nov 23) but her approval (28%) is the still highest amongst the leaders of the three parties. Her net favourable score is +2, down considerably (+11: Nov 23). Her approval amongst NDP supporters is (46%), but even amongst those planning to vote NDP (41%) say they don’t know whether to approve or disapprove of her leadership.

Neither Wynne, Horwath, or Brown seen as best choice for premier

The plurality (28%) indicates that none of the these (Brown/Horwath/Wynne) would be the best choice for premier followed by a statistical tie between Patrick Brown (21%), Andrea Horwath (19%), and don’t know (21%). Kathleen Wynne is well behind with (9%).

Almost 5-in-10 believe the Progressive Conservatives will win in 2018

Those polled believe quite strongly that the PCs will win the next election (48%). The Liberals (19%) are tied with don’t know (19%), and only (12%) believe that the NDP will win in 2018. A hopeful (2%) believe that the provincial Green party will instead emerge victorious.

Two thirds don’t believe the 2017 budget will be balanced

There has been a considerable amount of rhetoric regarding the upcoming provincial budget, but one thing that’s clear is that the majority do not believe it will be balanced, with (64%) saying it won’t be. Only (7%) believe that it can be done in 2017, with (29%) saying they don’t know if it will or won’t.

High cost of hydro and lack of trust in government motivating factors

Hydro rates and lack of trust in government will determine the votes of slightly more than 5-in-10 voters, with the ever-increasing cost of hydro as the dominant motivating factor for a plurality of voters with (31%). Lack of trust in government is second at (23%). None of the above (11%) and don’t know (10%) follow well back. Issues with little traction include trust in government (7%), tuition rates (6%), revised sexual education curriculum (5%), and the local candidate (5%), which are all virtually tied. Party loyalty is almost completely a non-factor in the upcoming election (3%).

“The Progressive Conservatives have a commanding lead over both the NDP and Liberals, but even when facing a governing party with a historically unpopular leader they must remain disciplined and error free in their campaign to ensure they achieve the majority they desire. The Liberals have effectively capitalized on PC mistakes in the past, so to have the best chance of winning the Progressive Conservatives can’t afford to make any,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research.

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