All incumbents safe; jobs and growth key
TORONTO MAY 27th,
2014 - In
a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 704 voters
in the three northwestern Ontario ridings of Kenora-Rainy River, Thunder
Bay-Atikokan and Thunder Bay-Superior North on the evening of the afternoon
northern Ontario debate, the incumbents all have comfortable leads.
The NDP incumbent, Sarah
Campbell, has a comfortable lead of almost half (47%) compared to one third for
Randy Nickle, the PC candidate (32%). The Liberal candidate, Anthony Leek,
doesn't really contend in this riding (18%), while few will vote Green (2%) or
for any other party (1%).
Horwath with highest approval
Kathleen Wynne has the
approval of about one fifth (18%), as does Tim Hudak (21%), and both have truly
awful net favourable ratings (approve minus disapprove) of - 43 and -42,
respectively. Andrea Horwath does scarcely better (31% approval, -15 net).
Andrea Horwath is seen to be
the best potential premier (25%), ahead of Tim Hudak (20%) and Kathleen Wynne
(15%). Fully 3-in-10 say none of these is appropriate (30%), while one tenth
don't know (9%).
Horwath seen to be debate winner
One half think neither leader
won the afternoon Northern Ontario debate (48%), but more than twice as many
think Horwath did (37%) as think this of Wynne (15%).
Andrea Horwath is seen to
have the best understanding of northern issues (24%), followed by Hudak (14%)
and Wynne (13%). Again, 3-in-10 thinks none of these have this understanding
Jobs/growth key campaign issue; also
The most pressing electoral
issue in this riding is jobs and growth (as it is everywhere - 28%), followed
by government corruption (18%) and eliminating the deficit (15%). Andrea
Horwath and Tim Hudak are equally likely to be seen as the best at jobs and
growth (20% and 22%, respectively) ahead of Kathleen Wynne (16%). Hudak leads
at dealing with government corruption (25%), followed by Horwath (19%) and
distantly, by Wynne (11%). Wynne (14%) and Horwath (13%) are equally likely to
be seen as having the best transit and transportation plan (Hudak - 10%), but,
significantly, half thinks none has a plan (50%). Hudak has a slight lead in being
best to develop the Ring of Fire (18%), followed very closely by Wynne and
Horwath (13% and 12%).
Three quarters say Hudak should have
Fully three quarters think
Tim Hudak should have attended the northern debate (74%) and just one tenth
think he didn't have to (13%). Four-in-ten say they are less likely to vote PC
as a result of his absence (40%), including one third of Conservative
Liberal incumbent Bill Mauro
has a substantial lead (52%) over both the PC candidate, Harold Wilson (21%)
and the NDP candidate, Mary Kozyros (24%), against whom he eked out a victory
in 2011. Few will vote Greeen (2%) or for another party (1%).
Wynne with highest approval; Hudak
Kathleen Wynne has the
approval of more than 4-in-10 (43%) and her net is +4. Andrea Horwath has the
approval of about 3-in-10 (31%), but her net rating is a negative -18. Tim
Hudak fares the worst at one fifth approval (20%), coupled with a net
favourable rating of -38.
Wynne seen as best Premier
Twice as many see Kathleen
Wynne as the best Premier (41%) as say this of either Horwath or Hudak (19%
each). A relatively modest one seventh see none as appropriate for the job
Two thirds say Wynne Won Debate
Two thirds (63%) say Kathleen
Wynne won the afternoon debate (63%), four times as many as say this of Horwath
(15%). One fifth say the debate was a draw (22%).
Wynne leads for understanding North the
Close to 4-in-10 say Wynne
has the best understanding of northern issues (38%), compared to about half
this proportion who say it of Horwath (21%) or Hudak (17%). One seventh say
none has this understanding (15%).
Jobs and growth key campaign issue
As is the case across the
province, jobs and growth are seen as the most important issue in this campaign
in this riding (36%), followed, distantly, by government corruption (11%).
Twice as many see Wynne as best equipped to deliver jobs and growth (42%) as
say this of the other candidates (Hudak - 18%, Horwath -15%). Wynne is also
seen to best able to handle corruption (31%) although by a slimmer margin
(Hudak - 17%, Horwath - 18%). Wynne leads for her transit and transportation
plans (33%) compared to Hudak (12%) and Horwath (13%). Wynne, finally, is
significantly more likely to be seen as having the best plan for the Ring of
Fire (42%), compared to the other two leaders (Hudak - 13%, Horwath - 9%).
Three quarters say Hudak was missed
As is the case in the other
two ridings, fully three quarters say Tim Hudak should have attended the debate
(76%) and just one tenth say he didn't have to (12%). As a result, close to
half are less likely to vote PC (48%), and this includes one quarter of past PC
THUNDER BAY-SUPERIOR NORTH
Liberal incumbent Micheal
Gravelle has a more than comfortable lead (55%) over his closest opponent
(Andrew Foulds, NDP - 25%) and the PC candidate does not contend (14%). Very
few will vote Green (5%) or for other parties (1%).
Wynne leads approval
Wynne has the approval of
close to half the voters in this riding (46%), and her net score is a
comfortable +11. Andrea Horwath has the approval of a third (35%), but a
negative net rating (-11). Tim Hudak is the least approved at 18%, and a truly
dismal net favourable rating of -50.
Wynne to make best Premier
Kathleen Wynne has a
significant lead as best Premier (44%) compared to Andrea Horwath (18%) and,
especially, Tim Hudak (11%). One eight think none would do a good job (16%).
Half think neither won debate
One half of those who watched
or listened to the debate think no one won it (49%), but twice as many think
Kathleen Wynne won (35%) as say this of Andrea Horwath (16%).
Wynne seen to have best understanding of
On this important measure,
Kathleen Wynne scores among a third (34%), compared to fewer for Horwath (19%)
and one third as many for Hudak (9%). One quarter think none of the leaders
have the requisite northern insight (23%).
Jobs and growth key issue
While jobs and growth is the
key issue in this riding too (32%), the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP -
10%), government corruption (11%) , eliminating the deficit (10%) and
transit/transportation (12%) are also important to about a tenth. Kathleen
Wynne is seen to be best to deliver jobs and growth (34%) compared to the
others (Horwath - 18%, Hudak - 12%) and she is also seen to be best to handle
government corruption (25%), albeit by a slighter margin (Horwath and Hudak -
18% each). Wynne is three times as likely to be cited for her transit and
transportation plans (35%) than her competitors (Hudak -10%, Horwath - 12%).
Wynne has an even bigger advantage in developing the Ring of Fire (47% to 10%
for Hudak and 13% for Horwath).
8-in10 say Hudak should have attended
Voters in this riding are
even more insistent Hudak should have debated (81%), and just one tenth think
he didn't have to (10%). As a result, fully one half are less likely to vote PC
(50%), including one third of past PC voters (34%).
"The long-time NDP fief of Kenora-Rainy
River, once held by party leader Howard Hampton, is secure, and completely
different in its electoral preferences from the two Thunder Bay ridings, which
are trending even more Liberal than they were in the last election. Although
the debate was not that widely watched, it had an impact on those who saw it
and most agree the Premier won. The fact that this kind of exposure is
important is reinforced by the strong majority who think Tim Hudak should have
taken part, and the negative effect his absence has on voting intentions, even
among Progressive Conservative partisans," said Forum Research President,
Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (416)