Liberals and PCs tied, for second straight month

Minimum wage and prescription drug coverage policies give Liberal support room to grow

In the first month of this election year in Ontario, Campaign Research found very similar results to what we reported over the last few months of 2017. The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PCs) and the Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) remain in a statistical tie (PCs 35% and OLP 34%). The Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) continues to trail, captivating only 23% of decided voters. The PCs continue to have strong support from voters 45 years of age and older (Age 45-54= 41%, 55-64= 44% and 65+= 42%), and men rather than woman (Men= 39% and Woman= 31%). Regionally, the strongest voter intent for the PCs came from the GTA (39%). The OLP has stronger support from younger voters (Age 18-24= 46%, 25-34= 40%). Unsurprisingly, the strongest region for the OLP is Toronto, where they continue to hold a significant lead over the PCs (41% to 29%).

As part of our analysis, Campaign Research tested the popularity of two key policies enacted by the incumbent Liberal government – the minimum wage increase and government funded prescription drug coverage for those less than 25 years of age. Respondents were asked if they approve or disapprove of the minimum wage increase to $14/hour on January 1st, 2018 and the scheduled increase to $15/ hour on January 1st, 2019. This policy proved to be popular with a majority (60%) of Ontarians, while only 31% disapproved. Approval is high across all demographics but especially younger voters (Age 18-24= 69%) – who typically earn minimum wage salaries – as well as those living in Toronto (69%). PC voters are the most divided with respect to the minimum wage increase. Interestingly, 38% approve and 53% disapprove of the policy while a strong number of NDP voters approve of the policy (60%). To help determine whether the policy would entice more Ontarians to vote Liberal, we asked voters whether they were “more likely” or “less likely” to vote for the OLP because of the minimum wage policy. The net positive effect suggests that the Liberals can potentially gain 2% (see chart A below).

Respondents were subsequently asked if they approve or disapprove of the government funded drug coverage policy for those under the age of 25. This policy proved more popular than the minimum wage increase, with a strong majority (72%) approving the policy; meanwhile, only 18% disapproved. 60% of PC voters also approved the drug coverage policy, while 30% disapproved. NDP voters seem very pleased with this policy initiative with 79% approving and only 14% disapproving. On the follow up question of whether respondents were “more likely” or “less likely” to vote for the OLP because of the new drug coverage policy, the data suggested that there is potential for growth for the OLP with a net potential increase of 6% (see chart B below).

“The OLP and PCs continue to be tied among the electorate. However, this dead-lock could change as a result of the recent minimum wage increase and drug coverage policy initiatives. These policies have proven very popular among the general electorate and could help swing voters to the OLP”. – said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research Inc. Eli can be reached at eyufest@campaignresearch.ca or (647) 931-4025 ext. 109.

METHODOLOGY

This online poll was conducted between January 9th and 11th, 2018 among a panel of 1,544 Ontario voters. A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5%, 19 out of 20 times. Data was weighted by age, gender and region in the Province of Ontario according to 2016 Statistics Canada census data.

This online poll was conducted by Campaign Research as part of its monthly omnibus study between January 9 and 11, 2018, The study was conducted among an online panel of 1,544 Ontario voters whose incentives for participation were handled by the panel provider and who were selected to reflect Ontario’s age, gender and regional distributions in line with 2016 Statistics Canada census data. A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5%, 19 out of 20 times. Data was weighted by age, gender and region in the Province of Ontario according to 2016 Statistics Canada census data. If you require more information, please contact us as it is available upon request.

The following screening question was asked in order to determine eligibility for participation in the study

Are you 18 years of age or older and eligible to vote in federal elections?

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