In the benchmark Ontario-wide wave of the Campaign Research Poll, a randomly sampled representative telephone survey of national, provincial and municipal issues, one half of Ontario voters would support the Progressive Conservatives if a provincial election were held tomorrow (50%), compared to just more than a quarter who will vote Liberal (28%). The provincial NDP occupy third place with one sixth of the vote (15%) and the Green Party attracts about one twentieth (5%). Few will vote for another part (2%).
The PC vote is especially characteristic of males (59%) rather than females (40%), the oldest (56%) and in Southwestern Ontario (54%). The Liberal vote is common to females (39%) and not males (17%), the Gen X cohort (45 to 54 - 38%) and in Eastern Ontario (38%). The NDP vote is common among the boomers (55-64 - 16%) and in Northern Ontario (24%).
Of those who voted Liberal in the last election, almost one third will vote PC this time (30%), as will more than a quarter of past NDP voters (28%). About one sixth of past PC voters will support the Liberals in the next election (14%).
ANDREA HORWATH WITH HIGHEST FAVOURABLES
Andrea Horwath has the approval rating of more than a third of voters (38%) and her net favourability (approve minus disapprove) is slightly positive (+5). Herewith has the approval of more than three quarters of NDP voters (78%), and very few disapprove of her (11%). Patrick Brown has the approval of more than a quarter of voters (28%) and his net is a negative (-7). He has the approval of just less than one half of his party's voters (47%), while just more than a fifth of PC voters disapprove of him (22%). He has a higher level of "don't knows" than other leaders, and this brings his overall approval down. Premier Kathleen Wynne has approval from just fewer than a fifth of the population (19%), and her net favourable score is a truly dismal -48. Wynne has the approval of 6 in 10 Liberals (62%), while one quarter disapprove of the job she's doing (25%).
PATRICK BROWN SEEN TO MAKE BEST PREMIER; HORWATH IN SECOND
The PC leader ranks first as the population's choice for best premier (28%), and he is followed by "none of the above" (25%). Andrea Horwatch is second choice with one quarter (24%) while Kathleen Wynne, the incumbent, trails (16%). Among Liberal voters, just more than half see their leader as the best premier (55%), while one tenth favour Patrick Brown (10%) and one sixth Andrea Horwath (16%). Among PCs, close to 6 in 10 favour the leader for premier (58%), but about a sixth opt for Horwath (16%). The NDP leader has the highest approval from her party (79%). while few support anyone else.
"One half of the vote share is an important milestone for an opposition party to reach; not only would a majority be guaranteed, but the kind of mandate most parties can only wish for would result. We are a year and a half out from the election, of course, but Mr. Brown is currently in a very commanding position," said Eli Youfest, CEO of Campaign Research. Eli can be reached here.
This poll was conducted on January 29, 2017, among a randomly selected sample of 676 Ontario voters. The poll was conducted by Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%, 19 times out of 20.