How often will voters forgive politicians for a big mistake? Doug Ford is putting that to the test.
In April 2021, Doug Ford apologized for the government’s performance on COVID and went on to win re-election. INNOVATIVE tracked reaction to the controversy and the apology at the time. We have used updated versions of those questions to test reaction to the Premier’s apology on the government’s latest controversy – the Greenbelt.
Although more people (73%) followed the Ontario government’s performance on COVID-19, fewer (57%) have been following the issue on the Greenbelt. This may be a good thing for Ford as more people agree that Ford responded poorly to criticisms on the Greenbelt (net well score of -19%) compared to COVID-19 (net well score of -9%). And when asked on how they felt after having heard about the plan for the Greenbelt, 57% felt angry.
And while a little over half agree that the Greenbelt and COVID-19 controversies are signs of deeper issues, support from Ford’s base is unwavering. With net agree scores of +42% (Greenbelt) and +30% (COVID-19), more Conservative partisans agree than disagree that “Doug Ford has accepted responsibility for his mistakes and is taking steps to do better.” Similarly, overall, on both COVID-19 (+6%) and the Greenbelt (+2%), slightly more Ontarians agree than disagree that “Doug Ford has accepted responsibility for his mistakes and is taking steps to do better.”