OUS Updates and news.
By David Coletto
From March 2 to 4, 2023, Abacus Data surveyed 1,000 Ontario adults and asked them about their views and opinions as they relate to Ontario’s local politics.
Here’s what we found:
The PCs lead the Ontario Liberals by 13 points, with the NDP back in third.
If a provincial election were held during the survey period, the PC Party would receive 41% of the vote, followed by the Ontario Liberals at 28%, the Ontario NDP at 22%, and the Ontario Green Party at 5%. Compared with the last survey conducted in November 2022, the PCs are up 3, the Liberal vote is slightly lower by 1 point and the NDP is down 4.
Note, our last study ended in the middle of the controversy surrounding the employment of education workers in Ontario and the provincial government’s previous use of the Section Description to force workers to stay on the job.
Regionally, the PCs are ahead in every region outside of Metro Toronto, with big leads in the GTHA (15 points), eastern Ontario (21 points), and the southwest (11 points). In Metro Toronto, the Liberals and the PCs are outnumbered.
The PCs have a 20-point lead among men and a 7-point lead among women and lead in all age groups except for those under 30.
As of November 2022, Doug Ford’s impressions have improved.
Today, 34% have a positive impression of the Premier (up 5 points) while 43% have a negative impression (down 2). 19% said their view was neutral while 4% were unsure.
We also asked about the impressions of the new NDP leader Marit Stiles. About equal numbers have a positive and negative opinion with many saying they either have a neutral view (27%) or don’t know enough about it to say (38%).
When we asked their opinion about some possible OLP leadership candidates (at the time it was not clear that Bonnie Cromie might be interested, so we did not ask about it), all four people we tested had similar images throughout the region. Many people either do not know the individuals or have a neutral view.
In the meantime Most Ontarians know the story involving the Ford family and the producers at the stag-and-doe wedding this past summer, but only 1 in 4 follow the news closely.
When told about the story and asked if it made them feel more positive or negative about Premier Ford, 8% said they felt more positive about it while 50% said they felt less positive. It is possible for those who follow the word to do something wrong.
Among those who said they would vote PC in 2022, 70% said their impression was either more positive or unaffected while 30% said their impression had become more negative, with 10% saying negative much more.
When asked specifically about their views on the local government’s plan to open up land in the Greenbelt for housing development, 22% supported the plan, 49% opposed it and 29% said they neither supported nor opposed it. About 1 in 3 of PC voters said they opposed the plan while most Liberal and NDP supporters said they were opposed.
Despite the controversy of interest allegations swirling around the Premier and his family, it does not appear to have had much of an impact on the Premier’s image or support for the PC government. If the election were held today, it is likely that the PCs would win another majority government. Until now, almost the entire PC coalition has been held together and although some PC voters feel uncomfortable with the accusations, they do not seem to be convinced that the PCs and Doug Ford do not deserve their support again.
As the Liberals set to elect a new leader, some potential candidates began with name recognition across the region – which is often the case for candidates running to lead a local party.
For the NDP, Marit Stiles began her tenure as NDP leader with a very blank slate. It doesn’t look bad, which is a plus, but it’s still mostly unknown. It is a blank canvas to many people in the area.
The study shows both the sensitivity of Doug Ford and the potential danger if these accusations increase and the development of parts of the Greenbelt becomes more. Now, the Commander and the PCs are facing this storm.
The survey was conducted with 1,000 Ontario residents aged 18 and over on March 2 to 4, 2023.
A random sample of professionals was invited to complete the survey from a pool of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are often double-blind panels, combined to control potential skews in data from a single source.
The margin of error for a sample based on comparative probability of the same size is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.
The data was weighted against census data to ensure that the sample matched the Ontario population according to age, gender, education, and region. Total may not add to 100 due to rounding.
This research was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.
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