NDP (35%, +6) Charging Towards Tories (40%, unchanged) as Liberal (22%, -4) Vote Defects; Anti-Ford Vote Coalescing behind Horwath

For the First Time, More Now Believe that NDP (36%, +11), Not Liberals (31%, -10), has Best Chance of Defeating Ford-Led PCs

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, Ontario, May 15, 2018 — The anti-Ford vote is coalescing behind Andrea Horwath as the New Democrats advance their charge towards the Progressive Conservatives, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News. The Liberal vote is defecting to the NDP as more now believe that the NDP has the best chance of stopping Doug Ford from becoming Premier.

If the election were held tomorrow, the Progressive Conservative party would receive 40% of the decided popular vote, unchanged since last week. The NDP would receive 35% of the vote, up 6 points, while the Liberals would receive only 22% of the vote province-wide, down 4 points. Other parties, including the Green Party, would receive 3% support (down 2) while nearly two in ten are either unsure (14%) or say they wouldn’t vote (5%).
• In the key region of the 905, the PCs (49%) have a twenty-point lead over the NDP (29%), while the Liberals (20%) lag. With such a strong lead in this most seat-rich region of the province, victory for the PCs is still firmly in hand – at least for the time being.
• In the 416, the NDP (38%) is in the lead over the second-place Tories (34%) and third-place Liberals (26%). A third-place showing for the Liberals in the City of Toronto would be disastrous for their seat count.
• In Southwestern Ontario, the NDP (41%) and Tories (35%) are battling it out, while the Liberals (18%) are well behind.
• In Central Ontario, the PCs (41%) and NDP (39%) are also battling for first position, with the Liberals (20%) far behind.
• In Eastern Ontario, the PCs (49%) lead both the Liberals (26%) and the NDP (18%).
• In Northern Ontario, the NDP (47%) has a solid advantage over the PCs (27%) and Liberals (25%).

Explaining the surge in the NDP vote, more now believe that the NDP (36%) has the best chance of stopping Doug Ford and the PC Party from forming government, up 11 points since last week alone. In comparison, 31% believe the Liberals are best positioned to stop the Tories, down 10 points since last week alone. With the rising belief that the NDP is the better option to stop Ford, the anti-Ford vote is coalescing behind the Horwath banner. One in three (33%) insist that the Tories will win.

Moreover, nearly half (47%) of Ontarians now think that NDP Leader Andrea Horwath would make the best Premier of Ontario, up 9 points since last week. Nearly four in ten (36%, down 1 point) believe that Doug Ford would be the best leader of the province, while just 18% think it’s the current Premier, Kathleen Wynne (down 1 point).

Tory voters remain most committed to their party, with 56% of them saying they’re absolutely certain of their vote choice. Only 40% of NDP voters and 31% of Liberal voters say the same, suggesting that more movement among the parties is likely.

Wynne’s Fortunes Deteriorating; Horwath’s Improving; Ford’s Steady

Things continue to deteriorate for Premier Wynne and the Liberal Party. Just two in ten (20%, down 3 points) believe they’ve done a god job and deserve re-election, while the vast and growing majority (80%, up 6 points) want change.

Similarly, the Premier’s approval rating is stalled at 30% (5% strongly approve).

Just two in ten (20%) continue to have a favourable impression of Kathleen Wynne, while favourability towards Doug Ford (33%) is holding steady and Andrea Horwath (48%) is growing. Interestingly, fewer people say they don’t know about Andrea Horwath – suggesting that as people get to know her better, her popularity rises.

Party Leader

% favourable

(change since March)

% neutral

(change since March)

% unfavourable

(change since March)

Don’t Know

Kathleen Wynne

20% (--)

14% (+1)

62% (+2)

4% (-3)

Doug Ford

33% (--)

16% (+2)

46% (+5)

6% (-6)

Andrea Horwath

48% (+8)

29% (+4)

12% (-2)

12% (-9)

Not only does Andrea Horwath lead on favourable mentions, but she lags the others, greatly, on unfavorable mentions. Very few people (12%) in Ontario are unfavourable towards her – which cannot be said about Doug Ford (46%) and Kathleen Wynne (62%).

Given the strong and growing desire for change in the province, a majority (57%) continues to believe that the PCs pose the best chance of defeating Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal Party, which helps to explain why the Tories remain in the lead despite the relative popularity of Andrea Horwath. Three in ten (29%) think the NDP has the best chance of delivering change, while just 15% say the Liberals will be re-elected.

© 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 11 to 14, 2018, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1000 Ontarians eligible to vote and aged 18+ from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online, supplemented by river-based sampling. 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 ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Ontarian adults 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

Sean Simpson, Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs, Canada
+1 416 324 2002

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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs