Just One Quarter (24%) of Ontarians Believe Wynne Government Deserves Re-Election as Most (76%) Say It’s Time for a New Party to Take Over

Progressive Conservatives (39%) Lead Liberals (32%), NDP (22%), Others (7%) in Election Horserace that is Just Beginning

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, Ontario, September 14, 2017 — Only one in four (24%) Ontarians believe that the Wynne government has done a good job and deserves re-election (down 1 point since September, 2016), according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News. Conversely, three quarters (76%, up 1 point) of Ontarians think that it’s time for another party to take over at Queen’s Park. 

At this early stage in the game, the desire for change appears to be swinging towards the Progressive Conservatives’ advantage. If the election were held tomorrow, four in ten (39%) Ontarians would support the PCs (up 4 points from the September 2016 poll taken immediately following the Throne Speech), while 32% would cast their vote for the incumbent Liberals (down 8 points since September, 2016, when the Liberals were flying high immediately after announcing hydro rebates). Two in ten (22%) would vote for the NDP (up 2 points), while 7% would vote for some other party, including the Green Party (up 2 points). Two in ten (18%) Ontarians remain undecided with roughly 10 months to go before E-Day.

Regionally, the Liberals remain relatively strong in Toronto, while the Tories show strength in the 905, Southwestern, Central and Eastern Ontario.

  • In the 416, the Liberals (42%) lead the PCs (34%), NDP (21%) and other parties (2%).
  • In the 905, the PCs (44%) are ahead of the Liberals (32%), NDP (19%) and others (5%).
  • In Central Ontario, the PCs (49%) have a commanding lead over the Liberals (24%), NDP (13%), and others (14%).
  • In Eastern Ontario, the Tories (49%) have a similar lead over the Grits (24%), NDP (18%) and others (10%).
  • In Southwestern Ontario, the PCs (38%) are ahead of the Liberals (31%), NDP (25%), and others (6%).
  • In the North, the Liberals (35%) and NDP (33%) continue to hold their traditional advantage over the Tories (19%) and other parties (13%).


The desire for change likely stems not only from the Liberal government’s very long tenure, but the belief among a majority (56%) of Ontarians that the province is heading in the wrong direction (albeit down 6 points), while a minority (44%) believes things are headed on the right track (up 6 points).

In fact, just one in three (32%) Ontarians ‘approve’ (6% strongly/26% somewhat) with the performance of the Liberal government in Ontario under the leadership of Premier Kathleen Wynne (down 3 points), while most (68%) ‘disapprove’ (41% strongly/27% somewhat), up 3 points. By comparison, recent Ipsos polling has shown that Prime Minister Trudeau’s approval rating is nearly double this at six in ten Canadians.

The wildcard in this race is leadership. PC Leader Patrick Brown is still an unknown quantity compared to veterans Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath. Thinking about which party leader would make the best Premier of Ontario, four in ten (42%, up 5 points) choose NDP leader Andrew Horwath, edging out PC leader Patrick Brown (36%, up 1 point) and eclipsing Liberal leader and Premier Kathleen Wynne (22%, down 6 points).

Clearly, at present there is a significant gulf between opinions of the party leaders and how those perceptions are translating into votes, given that Andrea Horwath is running twenty points ahead of her party, while Patrick Brown and Kathleen Wynne run behind their respective party’s performance in this poll. Over the course of the campaign, these figures will likely converge in one direction or another, as voters tend to vote for party leaders more than the party’s stance on issues or their local candidate.


 These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 8 and 11, 2017, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 800 Ontarians aged 18+ from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. 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
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 third 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 €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs