The Progressive Conservatives are maintaining a steady, 5-point lead over the Liberals. The NDP remain in third, 9 points back of the PCs. These findings come from INNOVATIVE’s latest online survey of 901 Ontario residents weighted to n=700, conducted from May 26 to May 30, 2022.
The horserace remains stable heading into the final stretch. The PCs remain ahead of the Liberals by 5 points, 34% to 29%. The NDP sit at 24%, 5 points back of the Liberals.
Although there is more volatility regionally, the PCs remain ahead in the GTA, and the South/West and North/East regions. The Liberals remain ahead in Toronto.
Clustering Ontarians into six major groups based on shared values, the Tories lead in five clusters. The NDP are ahead with the Core Left. The Liberals previously appeared to be rebuilding parts of their traditional coalition. However, their numbers have dropped off among Business Liberals and Left Liberals.
Fewer voters believe the election is a two-horse race, down from a high of 57% just a week ago.
Read, Seen or Heard
Less than half of Ontarians say they heard anything about each of the parties. For the Tories, 45% said they read, saw or heard something about the party, 39% for the NDP, and 36% for the Liberals.
More than 1-in-4 who read, saw or heard something about the NDP or the Liberals said it left them with a more favourable impression of the party (both 27%). However, the NDP have fewer negative impressions.
Impressions of the PCs this week are underwater. More than 2-in-5 say what they read, saw or heard about the PCs left them with a more negative impression overall. Campaign ads, general impressions of Doug Ford, and Highway 413 are all major sources of these negative impressions. At the same time, there has been a spike in Doug Ford’s negatives.
With just days to go, over 1-in-3 still say they would like to hear more before making up their minds in this election. A larger proportion of Liberal and NDP partisans were previously less committed than PC partisans, but now say they have heard all they need to hear to make up their minds.
Time for a change
Nearly 3-in-5 voters say they think it is time for change in government in Ontario (58%). Yet 1-in-11 remain conflicted and say that even though it is time for a change, the Tories remain the best option to form government (9%). This number is down from a high of 14% during the campaign, but the Liberals and NDP have not peeled enough of these voters away to seriously damage the Tories’ prospects.
The Tories’ lead remains stable and comfortable. No party is outside the range we have seen from the beginning of the election. Impressions of Doug Ford have grown more negative, but the PC base remains engaged and excited. The Liberals have closed the gap with the PCs and NDP on decided vote, but Liberal partisans remain unexcited by Steven Del Duca. The NDP had a strong week following a poorly-received debate performance by Andrea Horwath, but it may not be enough to overtake the Liberals.