New tracking from an INNOVATIVE online poll of 989 Ontarians shows that while the PCs and the Ontario Liberals remain in a tight race on vote, Doug Ford’s reputation has taken a large hit since March.
Overall satisfaction with the Ontario provincial government has continued to slide from a peak of 70% in May to only 42% now. Similarly, approval of the province’s handling of COVID-19 has reached its lowest point since the pandemic began at only 33%, while 54% say they disapprove of the job the government is doing.
Attention to the government has reached a recent high with 79% saying they have heard something about Doug Ford in the last few days and a plurality say what they heard left them feeling less favourably towards the government. The most common thing respondents mentioned was the new provincial lockdown and among those who mentioned it, 44% say the news left them less favourable while only 22% said it left them more favourable.
Premier Doug Ford’s reputation has taken a serious hit since last month. In March, Ford’s net favourability was -2% but now it has declined to -15%, the lowest it has been since the start of the pandemic. Similarly, while in March 37% said Doug Ford is the best choice for Premier, now only 28% believe he is the best choice. Interestingly, the 3 opposition leaders also show declines in their own favourables in this wave of tracking. Ontarians appear disenchanted with their leaders across the board.
This has yet to have an impact on vote choice in the province – since December the PCs and Liberals have been tied on vote and now the PCs trail the Liberals by only 1 point. However, the PCs have less room to grow. Only 9% of Ontarians say the PCs are their 2nd choice, compared to 19% who say the Liberals are their 2nd choice.