Even split in Ontario opinion on Wynne's Toronto road toll decision

January 31, 2017

In the benchmark Ontario-wide wave of the Campaign Research Poll, a randomly sampled, representative telephone survey of national, provincial and municipal issues, slightly more disapprove of tolling public highways to raise money for transit and transportation infrastructure (46%) than approve of this method of public financing (43%) - an almost even split in opinion. One tenth of voters don’t have an opinion (11%). Disapproval of tolling roads is common to the young mid-aged (35 to 44 - 52%), the least wealthy (less than $20K - 58%, $20K to $40K - 61%), the GTA surrounding Toronto (53%), and NDP supporters (62%). Approval of tolled roads is characteristic of males (48%) rather than females (38%), the youngest (53%), the wealthiest ($250K+ - 75%) and in Toronto (55%).

EVEN SPLIT PROVINCIALLY ON WYNNE’S TORONTO TOLL ROAD DECISION

Almost exactly equal proportions of Ontario voters approve (44%) and disapprove (45%) of the

premier’s decision to deny Toronto Mayor John Tory permission to toll two city owned

highways. This balance masks a stark regional split, however. In Toronto, almost 6 in 10

disapprove of this decision (58%) while just a third approve (32%). In the GTA surrounding

Toronto, however, where provincial elections are won and lost, proportions are inverted, and

about 6 in 10 approve of the premier’s decision (56%) and just less than 4 in 10 disapprove

(39%). Approval is highest among provincial Liberal voters, of course (54%), while disapproval is

highest among PC supporters (50%). The oldest are the least likely to approve of the Premier’s

decision (37%) and most likely to disapprove (52%). Males are more likely to disapprove (50%)

than females (41%).

 

4-IN-10 LESS LIKELY TO VOTE LIBERAL BECAUSE OF TOLLS DECISION, ONE FIFTH MORE LIKELY

Four in ten Ontario voters are less likely to vote Liberal in the next election because of the

Premier’s decision (40%) while one fifth are more likely to vote for the Liberals (21%). This

implies a net vote loss of as much as 20 points as a direct result of this policy. Being more likely

to vote Liberal is characteristic of the youngest (28%), the least wealthy (36%) and those in

Eastern Ontario (40%).

 

“While this decision of the Premier’s to prohibit Toronto from tolling its own highways is

unpopular in the city itself, it is very popular in the commuter belt surrounding Toronto, and

this is where the Liberals need to hold seats, and even make inroads if they are to have a

chance in the next election,” said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research. Eli can be reached at

eyufest@campaignresearch.ca or at (416) 618 6562

 

 

 

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