PCs in the lead in Ontario

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PCs in the lead in Ontario

Elliott tests best as leader; is preferred to Brown

TORONTO May 1st, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among a sample of 912 Ontario voters, more than one third will vote Progressive Conservative if an election were held today (36%), while fewer than 3-in-10 will vote for the provincial Liberals (29%). The NDP attracts one quarter of the votes (24%), the Greens a tenth (9%) and few will vote for other parties (2%). This situation represents relative stability from last month (March 26, Liberal - 29%, PC - 34%), with the exception that the NDP have retreated slightly (from 27% to 24%). One fifth of those who voted Liberal in last year’s election will vote NDP this time (20%). However, substantial minorities of past NDP voters will vote PC (10%) or Liberal (14%) this time.

PC minority seen

If these results are projected up to a 107 seat Legislature, the PCs would capture a minority of 48 seats, 7 short of a majority, while the Liberals would take 33 seats and the NDP 26.

Wynne’s favourables down

Premier Wynne has the approval of fewer than 3-in-10 voters (29%), down from a third last month (33%) and her net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a dismal -30, down from -20 last month. Andrea Horwath has seen her approval remain stable at close to 4-in-10 (39%) and her net favourable is a neutral +3, down slightly from +7 last month.

Christine Elliott tests best as PC leader

When voting preference is gathered with either of the two PC leadership contenders names included, Christine Elliott posts an 8 point lead over the Liberals under Kathleen Wynne (36% to 28%), with the NDP just behind at one quarter (25%). When Patrick Brown is tested as leader, the PCs tie the liberals (32% to 31%, respectively), and the NDP increase one point (26%). These findings are not significantly different from those noted last month, which indicates little momentum in either campaign.

Christine Elliott preferred as leader by PC voters

Among all voters, fewer than a quarter pick Christine Elliott as preferred PC leader (22%) and half this proportion pick Patrick Brown (11%). The plurality don’t have an opinion (37%) or think neither is up to the job (30%). Among PC voters, however, as many as one third prefer Elliott (33%), to fewer than a fifth on Patrick Brown’s side (18%). Among partisans, more than a third don’t know (36%) but far fewer pick neither candidate (12%). Among the very small sample of claimed party members, Elliott and Brown are tied at about a quarter (26% and 24%, respectively), while about a quarter prefer neither(26%) or don’t know (25% - caution: very small base size).

Few approve of cap and trade carbon pricing

Fewer than 3-in-10 voters approve of the government’s cap and trade carbon pricing plan (29%) and close to one half disapprove (45%). One quarter have no opinion (26%).

One half think cap and trade will lead to higher prices; fewer think jobs will be lost

One half of voters agree cap and trade carbon pricing will lead to higher prices in Ontario (51%) while just one quarter disagree this is the case (23%). Fewer, however, just more than a third, agree the carbon pricing scheme will lead to job losses (36%) while a third don’t think so (33%) and a similar number don’t know (31%). There is an exact split in opinion on whether cap and trade will achieve its goal in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and one third either think it will, think it won’t or don’t know (35%, 35% and 29%, respectively).

 It’s easy to hate on a majority government in mid-term, there’s no chance you’re going to have to actually vote for someone. Nonetheless, the decline in Kathleen Wynne’s favourables, usually better than the party’s, has to be a concern for her team. Christine Elliott appears to be a very attractive alternative to a lot of voters, more so than Patrick Brown still," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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