Healthcare, Economy, Taxes and Energy Costs Top List of Issues Driving Ontario’s Vote Choice

Key Election Issues Give Glimpse into Party Strategy

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, Ontario, Feb 23, 2018 — Healthcare, the economy and jobs, lower taxes and lower energy costs are by far the most important issues driving the vote in Ontario, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News. All other issues resonate only with relatively smaller proportions of Ontarians.

Those polled were presented with a list of 25 campaign issues and were asked to identify the three that are most important in determining how they will vote on election day. Healthcare (40%) – a perennial favourite – is in first position, and dominates among those aged 55+ (56%) and NDP voters (50%). In second position is the economy and jobs (35%), which resonates more with those living in the GTA (41%). In third position is lower taxes (34%), particularly popular among those aged 35-54 (40%) and Conservative voters (41%). Rounding out the top four is lower energy costs (29%), which resonates more among those 35-54 (34%) and 55+ (35%) and those outside of the GTA.

The chart below shows the percentage of Ontarians who rank each issue among their top-three issues. Respondents were then probed on those top-three issues and asked which party and leader is best to deal with each issue.  On the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh-most important issues of the campaign, the Tories have differentiated themselves from their rivals and are chosen as the party who is best to deal with each issue, placing significantly ahead of the other parties.  

The Liberals have differentiated themselves on the legalization of marijuana, education funding and issues important to students – none of which crack the top-ten issues of the campaign, according to Ontarians. The NDP has differentiated itself on the issue of social assistance programs, climate change and corruption, the eighth, ninth and tenth-most important issues, respectively. While Andrea Horwath may personally be popular, her policy advantage does not lie with the most-important issues of the campaign. In other words, the Tories have differentiated themselves and lead on almost every issue that matters most to the greatest number of Ontarians.

The chart shows the percentage of Ontarians who rank each issue among their top-three issues


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 15 and 19, 2018, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 802 Ontarians 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 ±4.0 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


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