PCs Lead in Ontario

| Filed under: Ontario

PCs Lead in Ontario

Wynne at lowest approval ever

In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1124 Ontario voters, more than 4-in-10 will vote for the Progressive Conservatives if an election were held today (43%), while equal proportions, about one quarter, will vote either Liberal (24%) or NDP (23%). About one tenth will vote Green (8%) and few will vote any other party (2%). Vote shares for the parties have not changed significantly in the past month.

The PCs are especially strong in southwestern Ontario (49%) while the NDP find their strength in northern Ontario (30%). The Liberals score best in Toronto’s 416 area code (33%), but even here, the PCs lead (36%).

There is a clear gender gap in the parties, in that males prefer the PCs more than females (50% to 37%), while the opposite is true among Liberals (19% to 29%). There is a gender balance in preference for the NDP (22% male, 25% female).

PCs on track for two thirds majority

If these results are projected up to seats in the Legislature, the PCs would win two thirds of them (67%), or 72, to 24 for the NDP, making them the official opposition. The Liberals would seat just 11 members.

Kathleen Wynne’s favourables probe new low

Just one sixth of voters approve of Kathleen Wynne (14%), down slightly from last month (16%), and lower than we have recorded for sitting Premier. Her net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a bottom-scrapingly negative -63. Close to one half of Liberals approve of their premier (45%), but just fewer disapprove (40%).

Patrick Brown has approval from just more than a quarter (27%), but many don’t know him well enough to have an opinion (49%). His net score is a neutral +3. Patrick Brown has the approval of one half his party (48%), but, once again, many Progressive Conservatives haven’t formed an opinion of him (40%).

Andrea Horwath enjoys the favour of the largest proportion of voters at just more than a third (36%), and her net score is a favourable +12. Her approval among New Democrats is more than one half (55%).

Just one tenth see Wynne as best Premier

Patrick Brown is seen to be best for the Premier’s job by 3-in-10, the plurality (29%), while second place belongs to “none of these” (25%). Andrea Horwath takes the votes of one fifth (19%), while half that many choose Kathleen Wynne, the incumbent (11%). Brown is the choice of more than one half of PC voters (58%), Horwath has the support of one half of New Democrats (48%) and Wynne has the support of 4-in-10 Liberals (39%).

One half expect PCs to win next election

When asked which party they expected to win the next election in fall, 2018, rather than the party they would vote for, the PCs do even better, and one half predict their victory (47%). This includes one fifth of Liberal voters (17%) and 3-in-10 New Democrats (30%). Just fewer than a quarter predict the Liberals will win (22%(), and this includes 6-in-10 Liberals (59%), and one sixth of New Democrats (15%). Just one tenth think the New Democrats will win (11%) and this is mostly New Democrats themselves (33%).

One half expect someone else to lead the Liberals in the next election

One half of voters do not expect Kathleen Wynne to lead her party in the next election in 2018 (49%), and just one quarter expect she will (27%). One half of PCs and New Democrats expect her to leave her post (53% and 51% respectively) and as many as 4-in10 Liberals also expect a new leader by then (42%).

“The problem here is that none of the three parties has an especially popular leader. None is the choice of more than about half of their own partisans as Premier. Kathleen Wynne has her own troubles, but neither Patrick Brown nor Andrea Horwath can get their approvals higher than about a third. Patrick Brown, because he’s not well known, or hasn’t projected a consistent message. Andrea Horwath because she just isn’t that well liked; better than the other leaders, certainly, but not on the scale of the Prime Minister, or even the mayor of Torontosaid 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.