Despite Vigorous Defense of Minimum Wage, Liberals Still Behind

| Filed under: Ontario

Despite Vigorous Defense of Minimum Wage, Liberals Still Behind

But Brown and Horwath still widely unknown

Toronto, January 15th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1022 Ontario voters, amongst those decided and leaning, more than 4 in 10 (43%) say they would support the Progressive Conservatives if a provincial election were held today, with a quarter (24%) supporting the Liberals and a quarter (24%) supporting the NDP. Fewer than 1 in 10 (7%) say they would support the Green party.

Generally, the provincial landscape is very similar to the end of November, with little change, with the PCs are up 3 (Nov 29-30: 43%), the Liberals unchanged (Nov 29-30: 24%), the NDP down 2 (Nov 29-30: 26%), and the Green Party down 1 (Nov 29-30: 8%). Few (2%) say they would support another party.

Since all changes are within the margin of error, there is effectively no change since November.

Respondents most likely to support the PCs include those aged 35-44 (48%), 55-64 (50%), or 65+ (47%), males (50%), earning $60,000-$80,000 (54%), the least educated (47%) or a college/university degree (48%), and living in Southwestern Ontario (56%).

Respondents most likely to support the NDP include those aged 34 and younger (32%), females (27%), earning $80,000-$100,000 (32%), with some college/university (30%), and living in Northeastern Ontario (47%).

Respondents most likely to support the Liberals include those aged 34 and younger (26%), aged 45-54 (25%), or 65+ (26%), the least wealthy (34%), the least educated (26%) or with a post-graduate degree (29%), and living in Toronto (33%).

The demographics of the Liberal support have shifted noticeably since November, with its support amongst the least wealthy going from one-sixth (Nov 29-30: 16%) to a third (34%) at present, and support amongst those earning $80,000-$100,000 decreasing 10 points from November (Nov 29-30: 30%). 


PCs continue to hover over a big majority

If an election were held presently, we would expect to see a Progressive Conservative majority government, with the PCs securing 88 seats.

The NDP would serve as official opposition, securing 24 seats, and the Liberals would serve as the third party, with 12 seats.


Wynne remains unpopular, Horwath and Brown unknown

Kathleen Wynne sees approval from about one-sixth (16%) and disapproval from about three-quarters (73%).

Only about 1 in 10 (11%) say they do not know.

Her net favourable score (approve - disapprove) is -57. Her net favourable score is up 2 points from November. (Nov 29-30: -59).

Patrick brown sees approval from a quarter (28%) and disapproval from a third (34%). The plurality (39%) say they do not know whether to approve or disapprove of Patrick Brown.

His net favourable score is -6. Brown's net favourable is down 4 points since November (Nov 29-30: -2).

Andrea Horwath see approval from a third (33%) and disapproval from a quarter (28%). Like Brown, the plurality say they do not know what to make of Horwath, with 4 in 10 (39%) saying they do not know.

 Horwath's net favourable score is +5, up 3 points from November. (Nov 29-30: +2)


“The Ontario Liberals' passionate defence of the rising minimum wage has seen their support amongst lower income Ontarians almost double, but because they've bled support elsewhere, there's been no movement in their support, overall," said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. “Brown's PCs still have a considerable lead, but Brown and Horwath are clearly not doing enough to raise their profile, given how many that are responding don't know about the leaders. It's a race to define: for Brown and Horwath to define themselves, and for Wynne to define Brown and Horwath."

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