Ontario Election Race Tightens as Official Campaign Draws Near

Liberals (32%, +4) Now Within Striking Distance of Progressive Conservatives (35%, -3), but Government Approval (52%) Remains Strong

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, April 21, 2022 – Just weeks ahead of the official start of the Ontario General Election campaign the race has tightened with the Liberals now in striking distance of the Progressive Conservative government, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News. While the government’s approval rating remains strong, vote support for the Tories has dipped since last month as high inflation and a sixth wave of the pandemic may be weighing on their support.

If the election were held tomorrow, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario led by Doug Ford would receive the support of 35% of decided voters (down 3 points), while Steven Del Duca and his Liberal Party have rallied and would now receive the support of 32% of voters (up 4 points). Andrea Horwath’s NDP would receive 23% of the decided vote (down 1 point), while the Green Party under Mike Schreiner would receive 5% of the vote (up 1 point), a similar proportion to all other parties combined (5%, unchanged). Seven percent (7%) of Ontarians say they would not vote in the election (unchanged), while 14% remain undecided (up 1 point).

Ontario elections are won or lost in the many swing ridings of the 905 surrounding Toronto, and in this key battleground the race is as tight as it could be:

  • Within the 905, the PCs (37%) and Liberals (36%) are statistically tied, while the NDP (19%), Greens (5%) and others (3%) are well behind.
  • Within the 416, Toronto Proper, the Liberals (38%) have a significant lead over the PCs (31%), NDP (21%), Greens (5%) and others (5%).
  • Within Southwestern Ontario, a three-way tie has emerged among the Progressive Conservatives (30%), Liberals (28%) and NDP (27%). This is also the region where the Green Party (8%) enjoys its strongest showing, along with other parties (6%).
  • In Central Ontario, the PCs (46%) have a very large lead over the NDP (25%), Liberals (22%) and other parties (7%).
  • In Eastern Ontario, the PCs (48%) have a commanding lead over the Liberals (29%), NDP (17%), Greens (1%) and others (4%).
  • In Northern Ontario, the NDP (34%) has a slight advantage and is ahead of the PCs (30%) and Liberals (23%), Greens (7%) and others (5%).

There also exist some differences in voting intentions by gender and, especially, by age:

  • Among those aged 55+ -- who are typically those most likely to vote – the PCs have a very strong lead (43%) over the Liberals (28%), NDP (21%), Greens (3%) and others (4%).
  • Among those aged 35-54, the gap between the Tories (35%) and Liberals (30%) is smaller, with the NDP (23%), Greens (7%) and others (5%) trailing.
  • Among those aged 18-34, the Liberals (39%) enjoy a double-digit lead over the NDP (25%), PCs (24%), Greens (5%) and others (7%).
  • Among women, the Tories (35%) have a modest lead over the Liberals (30%), NDP (26%), Greens (4%) and others (6%).
  • Among men, the PC (36%) advantage over the Liberals (33%) is small, but the NDP (20%), Green Party (6%) and others (5%) are well back.

The decline in declared votes for the Progressive Conservative Party is in stark contrast to the polling results which show that the underlying fundamentals for the incumbent government remain quite strong, Half (52%) of Ontarians continue to approve (12% strongly/39% somewhat) of the performance of the Progressive Conservative government under the leadership of Premier Doug Ford (up 2 points), while half (48%) disapprove (24% strongly/25% somewhat) of the government’s performance (down 2 points).

Moreover, four in ten (41%) Ontarians are close to the opinion that the Ford Government has done a good job and deserves re-election (down 1 point), a figure which typically tracks within a few points of the share of vote that the incumbent receives on election day. If four in ten Ontarians showed up to vote for the Tories on E-Day, they would be assured another majority victory. Sometime between now and voting day, the popular vote for the Tories (35%) and the proportion who believe they deserve re-election (41%) should converge. Conversely, six in ten (59%) say it’s time for another party to take over at Queen’s Park (up 1 point).

Ontarians continue to believe that current Premier Doug Ford remains the major party leader who would make the best Premier of Ontario. Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca remains a distant third, well behind second place Andrea Horwath of the NDP.

Who Do Ontarians Believe Would Make the Best Premier of Ontario?

Major Party Leader

% Chosen as Best Leader

PC Leader Doug Ford

42% (-1)

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca

24% (+2)

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

33% (-1)

 

© 2022, 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 April 13 and 14, 2022, on behalf of Global News.  For this survey, a sample of n = 1001 Ontarians aged 18+ was interviewed online, via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources.  Respondents earn a nominal incentive for their participation.  Quotas and weighting were 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 polls which include non-probability sampling 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 Ontarians 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. Ipsos abides by the disclosure standards established by the CRIC, found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/


For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker
CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2001
[email protected]

 

About Ipsos

 

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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs

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