PCs Continue to Lead Strongly in Ontario

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PCs Continue to Lead Strongly in Ontario

Kathleen Wynne’s approvals lower than ever

TORONTO November 23rd – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1184 Ontario voters, the plurality, more than 4-in-10, will vote for the Progressive Conservatives if a provincial election were held today (43%), while just one quarter would vote either for the Liberals or the NDP (24% each). Relatively few would vote Green (8%) or for another party (2%). The PCs post their largest vote share in the 905 area code surrounding Toronto (47%), the Liberals do best in the Toronto city limits (28%) and the NDP have their biggest share in Northern Ontario (29%).

PCs on track for supermajority

If these results were projected up to seats in the current 107 seat Legislature, the PCs would take a supermajority, or 70 seats, while the NDP would take 26 seats. The liberals would take just 11.

Kathleen Wynne’s favourables are lower still

The Premier has the approval of just more than one tenth of voters (13%) and this is the lowest value we have ever recorded for a sitting premier. Her net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is an astoundingly negative -60. Four-in-ten Liberals approve of her (43%), but one third disapproves (33%).

PC leader Patrick Brown has the approval of close to 3-in-10 (28%), and the disapproval of just less than a quarter (23%) which gives him a net score of +5. Half the voters don’t know enough about him to take a position (49%). One half his party approves of him (49%) and one sixth disapprove (15%), but more than a third don’t know enough about him to judge (36%).

Andrea Horwath has the best approval rating of the party leaders (36%) and her net score is a relatively positive +11.  She has the approval of two thirds of her party’s voters (65%). Even so, she prompts high levels of “don’t knows” (39% in total, 23% among New Democrats).

Brown seen to make best premier

Patrick Brown scores the highest of the party leaders at being Premier, with just one quarter of the vote (26%), and he is almost tied with “none of the above” (24%). Then comes Andrea Horwath, with a fifth of the vote (19%) and Kathleen Wynne with about one tenth (12%). One fifth don’t offer an opinion (19%).

Just one quarter are small “c” conservatives

Just one quarter of Ontario voters describe themselves as “small “c” conservatives” (27%), while more than 4-in-10 say they are not (42%). Three-in-ten aren’t sure if they are (31%). Being a conservative is common to the oldest (33%), males (33%) rather than females (21%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 37%) and in Northern Ontario (30%). Among PCs, just half say they are “small “c” conservatives” (54%), and close to one fifth say they are not (18%). Among Liberals and New Democrats, about one tenth claim conservative tendencies (11% and 12%, respectively).

High approval for legal abortion, same -ex marriage, less for sex education curriculum

Seven-in-ten approve both of legalized abortion (70%) and same sex marriage (71%), and this is the case even among PCs (63% and 62%, respectively), Liberals (75% and 80%, respectively) and New Democrats (84% and 79%, respectively). As well, there is majority approval for these two positions among small “c” conservatives (69% and 67%, respectively). It is only with respect to Ontario’s sex education curriculum that there is less consensus. One half approve of it (52%) while one third do not (33%) and one sixth don’t know (15%). Among PCs, one half disapprove (48%), while just more than one third approve (37%). Among Liberals and New Democrats, approval is higher than disapproval (64% and 67%, respectively). Small ‘“c” conservatives are exactly split on the issue (44% approve, 43% disapprove).

“It would appear that the traditional social value issues of abortion and equal marriage will have little ideological purchase in an Ontario election, but the more recent and widely publicized furor over the sex education curriculum might find some traction, at least among PC voters. It will not fly as far among Liberals and New Democrats though, nor even among those who describe themselves as ideological conservatives,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.