The PCs continue to maintain a significant lead over the Liberals while the race for second gets tighter. These findings come from INNOVATIVE’s latest online survey of 796 Ontario residents, weighted to n=700, conducted from May 5 to May 9, 2022.
There are no significant changes in the horserace. Among decided voters, the PCs lead the Liberals by 12 points and the NDP by 16 points.
The race over which party is the best option to replace the PCs appears to have tightened. Last week, 55% agreed the election was a two-horse race between the PCs and the Liberals. This week, just 48% agree it is a two-horse race. More believe the Liberals (44%) have the best chance of beating the PCs than the NDP (23%), but the Liberal advantage has slipped from 28 points last week to 21 points this week.
With time slipping away for Ontario’s opposition parties, the number of Ontarians who say their minds are made up has increased from 32% to 45% since last week.
The number of Ontarians who say they have made up their minds about who to vote for has increased significantly since the campaign began. Last week, 62% said they would like to hear more before making up their minds. This week, just 48% say they need to hear more. PC supporters are the least likely to say they would like to hear more (35%), while the politically unaligned are the most likely to say they would like to hear more (61%).
Time for a change
The potential PC threat from ‘time-for-a-change’ sentiment has eased slightly. 57% at least somewhat agree that it is time for a change in government, while 39% at least somewhat agree that the PCs remain the best party to form government.
Among those who agree it is time for a change in government, many are conflicted. The number of Ontarians who believe it is time for a change in government, but also believe that the PCs are the best option to form government sits at 14%, up from 9% last week. With just 3 weeks to go, each of these shifts benefit the Tories in the short run.
Based on what they have seen or read in the last few days, 36% say they have a more favourable impression of the NDP, while 27% say they have a less favourable impression.
30% say they have a more favourable impression of the Liberals, while 34% say they have a less favourable impression.
28% say they have a more favourable impression of the PCs, while 29% say they have a less favourable impression.
The PCs have been impressing a key group of target voters. 20% of Ontarians like and support Doug Ford despite not identifying as PC voters. Among this group, 52% say they have a more favourable impression of the PCs based on what they have read, seen, or heard, while just 9% say they have a less favourable impression.
INNOVATIVE also tracked public opinion on three issues that emerged this week.
The Liberals’ “buck-a-ride” has more support than opposition, with 40% saying they support the proposal and 29% saying they oppose it. About 1-in-4 say they are at least somewhat more likely to vote Liberal because of “Buck-a-ride” (24%), including more than 1-in-3 NDP voters (36%).
Last week, Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jointly announced up to $1 billion in subsidies for automaker Stellantis to modernize its Brampton and Windsor plants. While almost 1-in-2 say they support the additional funding, just 1-in-5 say they are likelier to vote PC because of it (21%), and 3-in-5 say it would make no difference (60%).
A leaked draft of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, which would overturn Roe v. Wade, has revived discussions about women’s rights and abortion access in Canada. About 1-in-4 say they support the Ontario government taking steps to regulate access to abortion (24%), while 2-in-5 say they oppose (42%). Ontarians are more likely to trust the NDP and Liberals than the PCs on the issue of abortion access, but many do not have firm views.