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Analysis of Voter Support Ceilings for Major Ontario Parties

February 22, 2018

Unprecedented media coverage of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PCs) has been generated in the wake of Patrick Brown’s resignation and the announcement of a snap leadership election.  This excessive media attention appears to have been what the PC’s needed and has propelled them into first place with a large 15-point lead over the Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) among leaning and decided voters (PC=43, OLP=28, NDP=20, GRN=8).  Roughly 15% of the population remains completely undecided and another 10% are only leaning toward a party and may yet change their vote.

 

Beyond asking respondents which party they intend to vote for, Campaign Research also asked each respondent if they would consider voting for any and or all the major political parties.  The analysis of those answers allows for a more accurate look at each parties current and potential support.

 

 The Voter Gap Analysis shows that the OLP faces a significant challenge because 64% of the respondents claim that they will not even consider voting for them. Likewise, 61% of respondents claim that they will not consider voting for the NDP.  The PC’s however fare somewhat better with only 51% of respondents not willing to consider voting for them.

 

Compounding the challenges faced by the OLP is that their “hard support” (Vote/No Others Considered) is at a mere 13% only half that of the PC’s (26%).  The NDP “hard support” is similar to the OLP with a mere 11% completely committed to voting for them.  These “hard supporters” claim that they have decided who they will vote for and will not consider any other party.

 

Keeping in mind that in the 2014 Ontario Election voter turnout was 52%, each group of “hard supporters” becomes that much more important as their commitment makes them more likely to vote come election day.

 

PC Voter Gap Analysis

Respondents that claim that they have decided to vote PC and will not consider another party tend to be split evenly between middle aged men and women. While older males express the strongest support of any demographic group with 41% being hard supporters, a full third of older females are also committed to voting PC. Support among older demographics is very important as they vote more reliably and its turnout that decides elections.

 

OLP Voter Gap Analysis

The OLP’s hard voters tend to be split evenly across different demographic groups.  The young of both genders are likely to consider voting for the OLP with a majority of each being open to the possibility. Among older demographics though this trend is reversed with 74% of men over 55 years of age and 72% of woman over 55 years of age unwilling to even consider voting for the OLP.

 

NDP Voter Gap Analysis

Hard NDP voters are evenly split between males and females within the upper age groups. This contrasts with­ young males being very unlikely (6%) to be committed NDP voters. The oldest males and females have the most polarized opinions of the NDP with nearly three quarters (71%) of males over the age of 55 unwilling to even consider voting for the them.

 

“The events of the last two weeks have made the coming election much more top-of-mind for voter’s.  Patrick Brown’s departure has not only failed to damage the PC party’s potential electoral fortunes, but the media attention seems to have given the party a boost. While the PC’s currently enjoy a sizable lead, it remains to be seen if the coming leadership race will reverse this trend or confirm it.”

 – 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 by Campaign Research as part of its monthly omnibus study between February 8th to 10th 2018, The study was conducted among a random sample from an online panel of 1,426 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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