PCs with solid lead over Liberals in Ontario

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PCs with solid lead over Liberals in Ontario

PC minority government seen

TORONTO APRIL 7th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 928 Ontario voters, almost 4-in-10 will vote PC if a provincial election were held today (38%), compared to just more than 3-in-10 who will vote Liberal (31%). This represents a reversal of findings from last month, when the Liberals held a slim lead (March 24 - Liberals 35%, PCs 32%). Today, the NDP would take just less than a quarter of the vote (23%), similar to last month (25%). Few will vote Green (7%) or for any other party (1%). The Liberals hold a strong lead in Toronto 416 (44% to 27%) but nowhere else. The PC vote is the "stickiest" in that more past PC voters will vote their party again (86%) than is the case among past Liberals (66%) or New Democrats (70%).

PC minority in the cards

If these results are projected up to seats in a 107 seat legislature, the PCs would capture a minority of 49, well up from 29 last month. The Liberals would take 45 seats, down from 66 last month, while the NDP would take just 13 seats, stable from 12 last month.

NDP is popular second choice party

In total Ontarians prefer the NDP as their second choice party (25%), followed by the Liberals (18%) and distantly by the PCs (8%). One seventh would pick the Greens second (15%). Among PCs, the NDP is marginally the most popular second party (22%), while it is much more so among Liberals (48%). Among New Democrats, the Liberals are the favoured second choice (46%).

PCs have the highest negatives, NDP and Greens the lowest

The PCs are the party most commonly mentioned as the one Ontarians would never vote for (35%), followed by the Liberals (24%) and the NDP and Greens (11% and 10%, respectively). PC voters are most likely to say they will never vote Liberal (51%), while Liberal voters return the favour (62% would never vote PC). NDP voters are far more likely to reject the PC Party (58%) than the Liberals (14%). Few reject the Green Party.

Hudak's favourables up slightly

More than one quarter approve of Tim Hudak (27%), up from less than this last month (March 24 - 23%), and his net favourable (approve minus disapprove ) is up slightly from -29 to -23. Kathleen Wynne is approved of by one third (34%), steady from last month (34%), and her net is a relatively negative -15. Andrea Horwath has the approval of 4-in-10 (40%), steady since last month (38%) and her net is a positive +6.

Wynne still seen to make best Premier

Kathleen Wynne is slightly more likely (26%) than Tim Hudak (24%) to be seen as the best Premier, while Andrea Horwath, for all her high approval ratings, trails (15%). One fifth say no one is up to the task (20%) and just fewer have no opinion (15%).

PCs will vote for sound stewardship, lower taxes; Liberals/NDP will vote for jobs and growth

When asked the most important issue in the next election, PC voters are relatively equally likely to say sound economic management (28%) or relieving the tax burden on the middle class (25%). Liberal supporters, on the other hand, are most likely to cite promoting jobs and growth as the most important issue (30%). New Democrats also focus on jobs and growth (24%) more than other issues.

Just one half consider themselves middle class

Just half of Ontarians feel they belong to the middle class (53%), while about one quarter claim to be working class (27%). Very few assume the mantle of the upper class (5%), while one tenth claim to be something else (12%), and few don't have an opinion (4%). Curiously, the wealthiest are the most likely to claim middle class status ($80K to $100K - 64%, $100K to $250K - 74%). Claimed status doesn't vary strongly by party affiliation, with the exception that Liberals are less likely to say they are working class (21%) than are PC supporters (29%) or New Democrats (28%).

Fewer now want NDP to support government

Four-in-ten Ontario voters want the NDP to continue supporting the government (40%), down slightly from last month (42%), while those who want the NDP to bring down the government have increased a similar slight amount (from 44% to 46%), with the result that bringing down the government is now significantly preferred to propping it up. The wide majority of PC voters want support to end (79%) whereas a similar proportion of Liberals want support to continue (72%). Among NDP voters, however, the majority want to keep supporting the Liberals (51%) as opposed to bringing them down (41%).

Fewer now think Wynne knew of e-mail deletions

Fewer than one half of Ontario voters now think Kathleen Wynne knew of the deletion of the e-mails about the cancelled gas plants (45%), compared to more than half who thought this last summer (July 23 - 52%). Of these, however, the same proportion, just less than half, think she personally ordered the deletions herself now (47%) and then (45%).

One half now think a crime was committed during gas plant controversy

One half of Ontario voters believe the provincial government committed a crime at some points during the gas plant cancellation controversy (49%), and this is up sharply since the fall (October 26, 2013 - 43%). Now, as few as one eighth do not think a crime was committed (16%), down from almost a quarter in the fall (22%), while a third have no opinion (35%).


It is clear the recent revelations about criminal charges in the gas plant affair have tarnished the Premier's image more than this scandal has already, and the tide may finally begin to be turning against her. In an election situation, she needs to continue to hammer the jobs and growth message, because that's what Liberals (and New Democrats) want to hear. They're not turned on by the low tax message. Also, all three parties should pay more lip service to the working class, not just the middle class, because the working class is alive and well in Ontario," 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.