In the wake of a provincial budget in May and as temperatures and energy consumption soars, Ontarians’ support for provincial political parties has remained relatively stable. As has been the case for the past year, the Progressive Conservatives continue to hold a very narrow lead over the ruling Liberals, according to a recent survey by Environics Research Group conducted over the past month.The details break down as follows:
PC - 38% (-3%)
Liberals - 36% (+1%)
NDP - 22% (+1%)
Other - 4% (+1%)
Undecided - 10% (-1%)
I think we'll definitely see another PC government in Ontario before we see another NDP, that's for sure. And, I'd be willing to bet that we'll see a PC government re-elected in 2007.
It appears that support for Mr. Tory's PCs was spread to the other parties equally - one to the NDP and one to the Liberals and one to the "other", and I think I know why. Mr. Tory has gone missing the last couple of months. I saw him on TV this morning talking about the Conservatives new initiative to investigate ways to eliminate gridlock in the GTA (get rid of the honking horns on the site, please), which is something the Liberals should be doing, but beyond this ... nothing. I haven't heard a peep into the investigations into Harinder Takhar or Joe Cordiano. The last we heard was the response to the budget (2005 Ad-Lib Budget: Making It Up As They Go Along - PDF).
Now, I think John Tory is the best choice for Ontario Premier. He's got the sound business finesse to run this province plus the know-how of what Ontarians want. Plus, no lies. That's the end of my ra-ra speech. I think he just needs to hit the BBQ circuit too - like he did during his leadership campaign.
The details ...
The so-called “gender gap” is wide enough to be a chasm. Among men, the PCs lead the Liberals 47 to 28 percent. Among women, the Liberals lead 44 to 30 percent. Support for the NDP is about equal among men and women.Ouch. So, Ontario men support the PCs and Ontario women support the Liberals. I think that's largely due to some run off from the previous PC government, but I think that's been the trend by and large for the last years - I always seem to recall the strategists calling on the Libs to target women. I think if Mr. Tory got out there more, he'd show that he's the best choice for Ontario. He's a nice guy, ladies - he's focusing on education, health care, with a keen fiscal mind.
Regionally, support for the PCs is highest in the Outer Belt of the GTA and in rural areas in general. Liberal support is quite even across the province, but is somewhat higher in the City of Toronto. NDP support is also particularly high in the City of Toronto.This is not really news. Rural and suburban Ontario tends to be PC, and Toronto tends to be NDP. The Liberals are just ... out there.
Prediction: Once they're back at Queen's Park, Mr. Tory will go back into the low-mid 40's, where we belong.
Updated: Actually, found this January 2005 Ipsos Reid poll:
Liberals - 37%
PCs - 35%
NDP - 18%
Greens - 9%
According to a new Ipsos-Reid/The Globe and Mail/CFTO/CFRB survey released today, Ontario’s Liberals, led by Premier Dalton McGuinty, have an edge (37%) over new leader John Tory’s Progressive Conservatives (35%) if an election were held in the province tomorrow. Both parties lead the NDP (18%) and the Green Party (9%). And while the new PC leader, even without a seat yet in the Legislature, has managed to pick up two points since October 2004 and come within striking distance of the Liberals, Premier McGuinty can perhaps take some comfort that this poll also finds that half of Ontarians (50%) believe he has the province on the right track (up smartly by five points since October) and almost equally as many (49%) believe his government is governing well—especially as the government hits some turbulence dealing with the provinces doctors and hospitals.The numbers now, in context, appear more reasonable. Both parties in the mid-to-high 30's. The NDP still lagging.