Christine Elliott favoured for PC leader
TORONTO JULY 3rd,
2014 - In
a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 810 Ontario
voters three weeks after the provincial election, 4-in-10 now approve of the
performance of Premier Wynne (41%), up from just more than a third before the
election (June 9 - 36%). Her net favourable rating (approve minus disapprove)
has increased dramatically from -17 to -3. In contrast, Andrea Horwath's
approval has dropped from one third (34%) to about one quarter now (28%), and
her net score has worsened from -13 to -19.
Among six listed contenders for the now vacant PC
leadership, Christine Elliott draws the interest of one fifth in total (21%)
and one quarter among PC voters (25%). Next is John Baird, with about one
seventh of the vote (14%) among PC voters and one tenth in total (9%). He is
followed by Lisa MacLeod, favoured by a tenth of PC supporters (11%) and a
twentieth in total (6%). Few among party supporters opt for Lisa Raitt (3%),
Doug Ford (8%) or Tony Clement (7%), and one sixth choose someone else (15%).
One third think Horwath should resign
In total, just more than one third of Ontario voters think
Andrea Horwath should resign as leader of the NDP (35%), while just more think
she should not (43%). One fifth have no opinion (21%). Among NDP supporters,
however, this proportion is just one eighth (16%), and fully three quarters
think she should not step down (73%).
One quarter of 2011 New Democrats voted
Liberal this time
One quarter of those who
voted NDP in the provincial election of 2011 voted Liberal in this election
(25%), while one tenth of 2011 Liberals voted PC this time (10%). A similar
proportion of Liberals voted NDP this time (9%), while one tenth of past PC
voters supported the Liberals this time (10%).
Liberals voted for best leader; not so
When asked what motivated
them to choose the candidate they did, the plurality of voters say they voted
for the party with the best economic plan (22%), followed by those who voted
the best candidate in the riding (17%). After this, vote motivators include
voting for the party one usually votes for or the one with the best leader (12%
each), voting for the best anti-corruption plan (7%) and, last, voting the best
transit plan (2%). One fifth say some other reason motivated their choice
(21%), and about a twentieth have no clue (7%).
PC voters overwhelmingly
voted for the best economic plan (40%) or the party with the best local
candidate (18%), while Liberals voted primarily for the best leader (29%),
followed by the economic plan (16%), the best local candidate (15%) or because
they are the party always voted for (14%). New Democrats voted for the best
local candidate (19%), the best economic plan (16%) and the customary party
(17%), as well as the party best able to combat corruption (14%).
It is interesting to note
that while Liberals are especially likely to say they voted for the party with
the best leader (29%), PC supporters (3%) and New Democrats (4%) are unlikely
to do so.
Wynne preferred for all attributes
except fighting corruption
When asked to rate the
leaders for the same attributes for which voters were asked their voting
motivation, Kathleen Wynne is preferred for all except having a plan to combat
corruption, on which attribute she narrowly cedes the lead to Tim Hudak (22% vs
19%). On all other attributes, Wynne leads, Hudak comes in second and Horwath
comes in third, including inspiring the confidence she can lead the province to
prosperity (37% to 21% for Hudak and 15% for Horwath), having the best economic
plan (33% to 28% to 16%), having the best transit plan (33% to 17% to 14%) and
having the best local candidate (29% to 28% to 18%).
While the issue of corruption
cut into Premier Wynne's image and had a negative effect on her campaign, it
was not the most important issue in the minds of voters, and they saw the
Premier as better able to handle the issue which was top-of-mind, the economy.
In addition, she was seen to be a stronger leader than either of the others,
even among their own supporters. The combination of a strong leader combined
with strong candidates and a superior economic plan proved to be the winning
combination in this election.
“I think the real loser here is Andrea Horwath, in that she
entered this election with good favourables and high personal popularity,
unlike Tim Hudak. While the poor perception of Hudak essentially never changed,
Horwath's eroded considerably from the day she declined to support the budget,
and it may prove difficult to rebuild it. Nevertheless, only a minority of the
general public think she should resign, and even fewer New Democrats," 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)