News

Ontario PCs hold lead as voters weigh in on handling of pandemic restrictions, trucker convoy: poll


Doug Ford’s Conservatives currently have the vote of 39 per cent of decided respondents. The New Democrats and Liberals are tied, each with 27 per cent

Article content

With three months until the provincial election, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives hold onto a lead while the NDP and Liberals battle in a tight race for second, according to a new Postmedia-Leger poll.

Advertisement

Article content

Up two points from the previous month, Doug Ford’s Conservatives currently have the vote of 39 per cent of decided respondents. Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats and Steven Del Duca’s Liberals are tied, each with 27 per cent, respectively.

“We’re basically two months out before the puck drops, so to speak,” said Andrew Enns, executive vice-president at Leger’s Winnipeg office. “Now is when you start to look at who’s got some momentum going into the campaign and where the parties are in terms of their ballot.”

Ford seems to have come out of the last month relatively unscathed, said Enns, but there is still a real campaign between the NDP and the Liberals in terms of who is vying for the alternative.

According to the survey, males are most likely to vote for Ford, with 43 per cent of respondents intending to vote Conservative being men. Horwath is more popular among female NDP voters (31 per cent) and Del Duca sees an almost equal split, with 26 per cent of intended Liberal voters being male and 27 per cent being female.

Advertisement

Article content

This month, Premier Ford is both the most favourable (40 per cent) and least favourable (53 per cent) party leader. Horwath comes in at a close second for most favourable with 39 per cent.

Ford has seen his favourables steadily climbing and they will only continue to grow as he campaigns, said Enns.

“He’s the type of politician that likes to get out with the people,” he said. “I think Premier Ford is going to relish getting into the campaign.”

When asked if their vote is final or are they likely to change their mind, the majority of respondents that intend to vote for each of the three major parties say they may change their mind. 51 per cent of Conservative voters, 61 per cent of NDP voters, and 65 per cent of Liberal voters all say they have not made a final decision.

Advertisement

Article content

Whether or not a voter may change their mind will have to do with who puts up the best campaign, said Enns. These numbers show that the Conservatives are not immune to a potential shift in their support and that there is the potential for some volatility between the Liberals and the NDP.

One of the biggest issues on voters’ minds going into the June election will likely be how Premier Ford handled the loosening of pandemic restrictions, said Enns.

The poll found that a large majority of respondents (59 per cent) agree with the Ford government’s decision to lift restrictions, end vaccine passports and remove capacity limits for public venues. Only 36 per cent disagree.

Of those that agree, 76 per cent are Conservative voters, 52 per cent are Liberal, and 44 per cent are NDP. The poll found that male respondents (63 per cent) are more likely to agree with the decision to lift restrictions and females are more likely to disagree (42 per cent).

Advertisement

Article content

The poll also considered how the removal of the vaccine passport will impact respondents’ willingness to participate in certain activities. The majority said they will go back to the workplace (67 per cent) and are comfortable eating out at restaurants (54 per cent). However, 53 per cent said they will hold off attending events with a large crowd as well as going to a nightclub or bar.

The poll also asked respondents about the trucker convoy. 71 per cent said they were concerned about public safety in the cities they had occupied and 53 per cent were worried that it might spread to their communities. However, a large majority of respondents (68 per cent) were not concerned that the convoy would overthrow the government.

Advertisement

Article content

Liberal and NDP voters were more concerned about public safety and the convoy spreading then Conservative voters. 87 per cent of Liberal voters and 85 per cent of NDP voters were concerned about safety, while 61 per cent of Conservative voters were. Similarly, 66 per cent of Liberal voters and 72 per cent of NDP voters were worried about the convoy spreading to their communities compared to 44 per cent of Conservative voters.

The poll found that the majority of respondents (51 per cent) were disappointed by Ford and the provincial government’s performance during the trucker convoy occupation. 56 per cent were disappointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Of the respondents disappointed by the Ontario government, 64 per cent were Liberal voters and 69 per cent were NDP. Only 33 per cent were Conservative.

Advertisement

Article content

While he said he is not sure if the provincial government’s performance during the trucker convoy will become an issue that voters consider at the ballot box, Enns said that even though restrictions may be virtually finished by June, campaigns will have to focus on the pandemic.

Enns suggests that the Liberals and NDP may try to make the case that Ford did a poor job in handling the coronavirus and planning for the post-pandemic. On the other hand, he says Ford will likely be aggressive in asserting how he has focused on post-pandemic recovery as well as handling COVID-19 over the past two years.

“I think what Premier Ford would be wanting to tap into is a bit of the positive momentum that people will be naturally feeling coming out of the shadow of the pandemic,” said Enns.

This poll was conducted by Leger on behalf of Postmedia News between Feb. 25-27, 2022. It surveyed 1,001 Ontario residents 18 years of age or older and who are eligible to vote. A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

close