PCs pull into lead with NDP in Ontario

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PCs pull into lead with NDP in Ontario

Razor thin PC majority if election held today

TORONTO August 11th, 2015 -In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1001 Ontario voters, more than one third would vote for the Progressive Conservatives if the provincial election were held today (35%), while one third would vote NDP (33%). This is a statistical tie at this sample size. The Liberals would place third, with about one quarter of the vote (26%), and few would vote Green (4%) or for another party (1%). This stands in contrast with our last Ontario poll, where the NDP had the lead (July 8 - 35%) and the PCs were in second (32%).The Liberal vote share has not changed (26% then and now).

The PC vote is common to mid age groups (45 to 54 - 43%), males (44%), the least wealthy (45%) and the least educated (44%). The PC vote is stronger in the 905 belt surrounding Toronto (40%) than elsewhere in the province. The NDP vote is characteristic of the youngest (47%) and the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 48%). The Liberal vote is common to the oldest (29%), the best educated (38%) and the wealthiest (35%). Among PC voters, two thirds are strong supporters of the party (68%), while just more than half of Liberals (54%) or New Democrats (53%) are similarly committed.

One seat PC majority seen

If these results are projected up to the 107 seat Ontario Legislature, the PCs would take a one seat majority of 54 seats, to 34 for the NDP. The Liberals would take just 19 seats in this scenario.

Leader approvals hold steady

Andrea Horwath is the most popular leader and has the approval of close to 4-in-10 voters (38%). Her net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a relatively positive +5. The Premier has the approval of 3-in-10 voters, (30%) but her net is a dismal -30. Patrick Brown has the approval of just one fifth (21%) but as many as half don’t know him (48%) and his net is a relatively benign -9. These approval ratings have not shifted since last month.

Leaders close to tie for best Premier

Relatively equal proportions think each leader would make the best Premier, led by Patrick Brown (23%), then Kathleen Wynne (22%) then Andrea Horwath (20%). A similar proportion says none would be good at the job (19%) or doesn’t know (17%).

It’s not uncommon for governments to suffer poor ratings mid-mandate, but the Premier must be glad the next election isn’t for 3 years. What’s interesting is that the PCs, who did not originally see a bounce when Patrick Brown was elected leader, may be seeing it now, even though he is not personally that popular yet,"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.