Healthcare (54%), Economy (36%), Taxes (29%) and Energy Costs (28%) Remain Top Issues of Campaign

Ontarians Have Lost Faith in Liberals’ Ability to Tackle Most-Important Issues, Believe Tories or NDP Best to Lead

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs, Ipsos
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Toronto, ON, May 10, 2018 — With the Ontario election now officially underway, candidates will continue their attempt to convince voters that their party is best to manage the key issues facing Ontario. But according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News, Ontarians have already taken their own stance on what issues they believe to be the most important issues for this election, and who is best to lead on each issue.

Healthcare, the economy/jobs, lower taxes, and lower energy costs are the most-important issues to Ontarians, consistent with the findings of Ipsos’ previous issues poll conducted in April. Healthcare (54%) continues to dominate as the most prevalent issue, and is gaining momentum since April (up 4 pts). The issue resonates most with Baby Boomers (66% vs. 53% Gen X’ers and 39% Millennials) and Liberal voters (61%). The economy and jobs (36%; -3pts) remains the second-most important issued, followed by lower taxes (29%; -2pts) in third place, and lower energy costs (28%; +2pts) in fourth.

The chart below shows the percentage of Ontarians who rank each issue among their top-three, with tracking back to our poll conducted in April. Once ranked, Ontarians were asked a follow-up question to select which party would be best suited to deal with each of their top-three ranked issues.

Ontarians have lost faith in the Liberals’ ability to handle the hard-hitting issues, and the Liberals are unable to differentiate themselves in a positive way against their rivals. Instead, Ontarians are turning to the PCs or the NDP. While Ontarians believe the NDP will be best suited to deal with the top ranked issue of healthcare, the Tories hold strong on the second, third, fourth and fifth-most important issues.

Further, Ontarians no longer trust the incumbent Liberal government to deal with many of the issues that have defined their reigning years. Ontarians believe increasing minimum wage, preventing climate change, and investment in public transportation could be better handled by the NDPs, while the rules governing the growing, sale and consumption of marijuana in Ontario would be a best-suited issue for the PCs.


* Question asked only to those who named issue a top-three issue driving their vote choice
** Small base sizes for “who is best to deal with issue” follow-up question

Momentum on policy issues appears to be with the NDP on healthcare (+11), social assistance programs (+16), transportation (+14) and education (+10). The Tories have seen positive movement on lower taxes (+10), lower energy costs (+6), crime (+7), corruption, (+21) and the legalization of marijuana (+20). The Liberals have failed to improve significantly on any of the most-important issues.

Four in ten (39%) Ontarians Pessimistic about Future of Ontario’s Economy, Key Point of Differentiation between NDP and Liberal Voters

Reflecting on the future of Ontario’s economy, six in ten (61%) hold an optimistic view (11% very/50% somewhat). By contrast, nearly four in ten (39%) have a pessimistic outlook (9% very/30% somewhat). Liberal voters (83%) are significantly more likely to have an optimistic outlook on the future of Ontario’s economy compared to PC (58%) and NDP (55%) voters. As such, it’s likely that economic pessimism is driving some voters away from the Liberals, and that economic outlook is a key point of differentiation between Liberal and NDP voters.

© 2018, Ipsos Limited Partnership
This polling release and the data contained in it are the sole and exclusive property of Ipsos. They are NOT designed to support any election outcome or prediction model and no license to use the polling release or the data is either granted or implied by their publication. Ipsos does not endorse, and has no responsibility for the accuracy of, the result of any predictive model that incorporates this polling data. Furthermore, any use of this information to produce polling aggregations or election models without Ipsos’ written permission will be considered a violation of our intellectual property, and Ipsos reserves the right to take appropriate legal action.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 4 and 7, 2018, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,197 Ontario eligible voters was interviewed online (789 Ontarian eligible voters aged 18+ from Ipsos' online panel were interviewed online, supplemented by river-based sampling) and by telephone (408 Ontarian eligible voters aged 18+ via live-operator random-digit dialing, dual-frame cellphone and landline). Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible Ontario voters been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Darrell Bricker, CEO
Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2001
Darrell.Bricker@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of Canadian American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.
Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, Ipsos Public Affairs is the polling partner for Global News. Internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.
With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.
Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.
Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs, Ipsos

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