If a provincial election were held now, the Ontario PC Party would win a solid majority government and the Tories would win support from almost every region, putting Doug Ford in the Premier’s chair, according to this poll from Campaign Research.
Following Ford’s election as PC party leader, the PCs would receive 43 per cent of support from the electorate, while the Ontario Liberal Party had the support of 27 per cent of decided voters, the New Democratic Party would have 23 per cent support, and the Green Party had 5 per cent support.
Only 11 per cent of Ontarians were undecided as to whom they will vote for. If you look at some of these regional breakdowns, things are not looking good for the currently governing Ontario Liberals:
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Peel / Halton: PCs 50 per cent, OLP 28 per cent, NDP 18 per cent.
Hamilton-Niagara: PCs 40 per cent, OLP 29 per cent, NDP 27 per cent.
City of Toronto: PCs 37 per cent, OLP 36 per cent, NDP 22 per cent, Greens 3 per cent.
City of Ottawa: OLP 42 per cent, PCs 34 per cent, NDP 18 per cent, Greens 5 per cent.
According to Campaign Research, this online poll was conducted between March 12 to 14 among a panel of 1,637 Ontario voters. A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percent, 19 out of 20 times.
Southwestern Ontario would essentially be a wipeout for Liberals, with the PCs and the NDP the two main parties attracting voters’ support. The Tories are also drawing strength from traditionally blue areas such as Eastern Ontario excluding Ottawa, Durham Region, and Simcoe County aka Central Ontario. What is also surprising is the PCs surge in Northern Ontario, in neck to neck competition with the NDP.
The over 50 percent mark for the Tories in Peel and Halton is most likely due to the inclusion of Halton Region in that particular sample, as Peel Region has a more robust track record of electing Liberals than the more Conservative leaning Halton Region. But the unpopularity of this Wynne government may be such that the OLP support is cratering everywhere.
It seems to be a trend across various other opinion surveys, as Mainstreet Research’s recent poll shows the Tories with a 21 point lead, ahead in all regions of Ontario, with 49 percent support in the GTA. The same poll finds that 54 per cent of those surveyed support the NDP’s plan to create a universal pharmacare program.
And if you’re a fan of “seat projections”, where researchers aggregate poll numbers to show you how many ridings each party would win, the Laurier Institute of Public Policy (LISPOP) conducts projections during election campaign periods. LISPOP currently shows the Tories would win 82 seats if an election were held on March 20.
There is no pretty way to say this, but the Liberals will not form the next government with polling numbers like this, let alone managing to stay out of third place in the provincial legislature.
But the silver lining is this survey is only a snapshot of what voters are feeling right now. It is now only the middle of March; the election is scheduled for June. For the Tories, if Ford can stick to a consistent message and not be deterred by too many ‘distractions’, there’s only room to grow that support.
If these numbers hold up, Ontarians could be waking up the morning of June 8 calling him “Premier-elect Doug Ford”.
Photo courtesy of Campaign Research