Ontario Politics In-depth: Values and Attitudes

INNOVATIVE Releases Additional Analysis from May 7 to May 11 Online Poll


(May 15, 2018 – Toronto) The NDP is growing among the centre-left value groups the Kathleen Wynne Liberals have relied upon and among economically alienated voters that initially supported the Doug Ford PCs.

Today Innovative Research Group Inc. (INNOVATIVE) released further analysis of an online poll conducted among 1,010 Ontario voters immediately following the May 7th TV debate.  The analysis segmented Ontarians based on core political values, time for a change attitudes and economic alienation.

There are two foundations for the NDP gains documented in INNOVATIVE’s earlier analysis of the Ontario Political Landscape.

Voters from more left-wing clusters who supported Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals in the last election have started to move to the NDP.

For the first time since the last election, the NDP now lead among the Core Left cluster.  They are also now ahead of the Liberals among Thrift Moderates and statistically tied among the Left Liberals.

Meanwhile, some of the economically alienated voters who initially were rallying to the Doug Ford PCs appear to be shifting to the NDP. 

Voters who reject the idea you can be anything you want in Ontario if you work for it have shifted from supporting the PCs in April to the NDP in early May.  However, the NDP has also gained in two of the three clusters that are struggling to some degree but believe in the Canadian dream.  There is now a three-way tie among Canadian Dream Hopeful voters while the NDP and Liberals are closing the gap with the PCs among the Canadian Dream Heavy Strugglers.

We also probed three key political beliefs that impact willingness to vote for each of the three main parties.

Time for a change continues to move strongly against the Liberals.

Almost 7 in 10 say it is time for a change in Ontario.  Digging deeper, only 32% disagree with the statement “After the past few years, I am so angry at the Ontario Liberals I will never vote for them again”.  And only 29% agree “The Ontario Liberals have their problems, but they are best able to form government”, the lowest we have seen so far this year.  Conventional wisdom holds that between elections government vote numbers are suppressed because governments are compared to the perfect but then go up in the election when they are compared to the alternatives.  This is not what we are seeing so far in this election.

Fear of a PC government is a major challenge for the PCs. 

Almost 6 in 10 (59%) agree they are afraid of what Doug Ford and the PCs may do if they are elected to government. Just 24% disagree.

There is a growing belief that Ontario politics is not a two-horse race. 

In May of 2014, 59% agreed the election was only a two-horse race, only the Liberals and the PCs have a real change of forming the government. Agreement with that statement has dropped 15 percentage points to 44%.  One third (32%) now reject the idea only two parties have a chance of forming government.  Among those who disagree, 33% of the somewhat disagree and 54% of the strongly disagree are voting NDP.


The poll of 1,010 Ontario voters was launched immediately followed the televised Toronto leaders debate on the evening of May 7th and continued through May 11th, 2018.  This is a representative sample where respondents have been weighted according to Census data to ensure that the overall sample’s composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population.  However, since the online survey was not a random probability-based sample, a margin of error cannot be calculated. Opinion research industry groups such as the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association prohibits statements about margins of sampling error or population estimates with regard to most online panels.

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