PCs lead voter preference in Ontario

| Filed under: Ontario

PCs lead voter preference in Ontario

Small PC majority if election held today

TORONTO November 5th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1158 Ontario voters, well more than one third would support the Progressive Conservatives if an election were held today (36%), while just 3-in-10 would vote Liberal (30%). Just more than a quarter will vote NDP (26%). Few will vote Green (6%) or for any other party (1%).

This represents stasis for the PCs , who had the same share of the vote the last time we polled (August 11 - 35%). However, the Liberals (26% in August) have increased their share at the expense of the NDP (33% in August).

The PC vote is common to the oldest (43%), males (46%) rather than females (28%), in Eastern (39%), Southwestern Ontario (41%) and the 905 ring of ridings around Toronto (40%), as well as among those with some college (43%). The Liberal vote is characteristic of females (35%), the less wealthy (38%), in the Toronto 416 area code (36%), among mothers with children under 18 (37%) and among the best educated (post grad - 37%). The NDP vote is common to the youngest (37%), females (30%), the least wealthy (less than $20K - 33%), in Northern Ontario (31%) and among mothers of children (30%).

Of note, more than a fifth of those who voted Liberal in the last election in June, 2014, will vote NDP if the election were held today (21%). A similar proportion of those who voted NDP then will vote Liberal now (19%).

Slim PC majority seen

If these results are projected up to seats in the Legislature, the PCs would capture 54, exactly the number needed for a majority. The NDP would form the opposition with 34 seats and the Liberals, because of their concentrated support in Toronto, would take just 19 seats in the 107 seat Legislature. Oddly, this is exactly the same seat distribution which was projected in August when we polled last.

PCs, Liberals strong partisans; NDP less so

Two thirds of PC voters and Liberals are especially likely to say they are strong supporters of their party (65% and 66%, respectively), while just one half of those intending to vote NDP say they are strong party supporters (49%). This indicates that half the NDP vote is soft, and is likely parked by Liberals.

Wynne’s favourables down sharply, Brown’s and Horwath’s up

Just more than one fifth of Ontario voters approve of Kathleen Wynne (21%) and this is the lowest score we have recorded since she became Premier. Her net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a truly abysmal -47. Patrick Brown’s approval is up (from 21% to 27%) since August, and his net score is up from a mildly negative -9 to a neutral 0. Andrea Horwath has seen her approval increase from close to 4-in-10 (38%) to more than that (41%) now, and her net score has also increased since August (from +5 to +11).

Patrick Brown seen to be best Premier; Horwath, Wynne tied for second

Voters see Patrick Brown making the best Premier (24%), followed very closely by Andrea Horwath (20%) and Kathleen Wynne (19%). However, an equal proportion say none of these three are the best for the job (22%). These are very similar findings to those noted in August (Brown - 23%, Wynne - 22%, Horwath - 20%, none - 19%).

“The decline in popularity for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government now appears to be a lasting phenomenon, not a bump in the road. These are rather drastic swings in voter approval we see, even if the Liberals appear to be doing better now than this summer. Because of the concentration of Liberal support in the Toronto 416 area code, it makes it harder for them to win seats elsewhere," said 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.