Budget a Lifeline for Liberals?

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Budget a Lifeline for Liberals?

Toronto, March 29th -  In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 728 Ontario voters, the gap between the Progressive Conservatives and Ontario Liberals has narrowed substantially. The Progressive Conservatives, who have led for the better part of a year now have a race on their hands with a resurgence from the Liberal party. The NDP also benefit from the PC’s declining support as well.

The PCs see support from decided and leaning voters of about one-third (36%), while the Liberals (29%) are just under a third, and the NDP (26%) are at one-quarter.

If an election were held today, the PCs would win a minority government of 57 seats. The Liberals would serve as opposition with 36 seats and the NDP would win 31.

 [[Chart 2792]]

Three-quarters heard at least something about the budget

A third (34%) have heard a lot about the budget, while 4 in 10 (42%) have heard some. About one-sixth (14%) have heard not a lot, while 1 in 10 (9%) say they’ve heard almost nothing.


4 in 10 disapprove of the budget

Only a quarter (24%) say they approve, with the plurality (44%) saying they disapprove. A third (32%) said they do not know whether they approve or disapprove.


Plurality say they are less likely to vote Liberal

Almost half (45%) say they are less likely to vote Liberal, with a quarter (25%) saying it will have no effect on their vote, and 2 in 10 (18%) saying they are more likely to vote liberal. About 1 in 10 (9%) say they do not know.


More than a third say it’s bad for economy

A third (38%) say it will be bad for the economy and one-fifth saying (22%) saying it will be good. A quarter (26%) say it will be neither, and one-sixth (15%) say they do not know.


Ontarians divided on a balanced budget versus more spending on programs and services

Just over half (56%) say they prefer a balanced budget to the 4 in 10 (44%) who say they prefer more spending on programs and services.


Overall, Ontarians are supportive of many specific elements of the budget

 Free daycare sees approval from half (53%) with 4 in 10 (41%) saying they disapprove. Few say they do not know (5%).


Spending more on special education teachers and assistants sees approval from more than half (55%) and disapproval from a third (34%). 1 in 10 (11%) say they do not know.


Spending money to expand capacity at SickKids sees approval from almost two-thirds (59%) and disapproval from just one-quarter (25%). One sixth (16%) do not know.


Spending to reduce overcrowding at hospitals sees approval from three-quarters (74%) and disapproval from only one-sixth (17%). Only (9%) say they don’t know.


Eliminating co-pay/deductibles from senior prescriptions sees approval from just under two-thirds (61%) and disapproval from about one-quarter (28%). Only (11%) say they do not know.


Expanding broadband internet in the North and rural communities sees approval from half (49%) with 4 in 10 (38%) saying they disapprove. One-sixth (14%) say they do not know.


Two-thirds (68%) say they approve of improving home care, while one-fifth (21%) say they disapprove. (12%) say they do not know.


Two-thirds (65%) say they approve of offering seniors a benefit to help with maintenance to stay in their homes longer. A quarter (24%) disapprove and (11%) say they do not know.


“The increase in support for the Liberals is as drastic as it is sudden,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. "We’ve shown nothing but a sea of blue in Ontario for more than a year, with the Liberals swapping between second and third. If the Liberals can turn this spark of life into momentum, it could open the door just slightly toward a competitive race in June. This budget looks like a good start for the provincial Liberals.”


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.