A new Innovative Research Group (INNOVATIVE) telephone survey shows the NDP leading in the Ontario election with 37% of the decided vote followed closely by the PC party at 34%. The governing Liberals trail with 21%. The live-caller landline and cell phone survey was conducted from May 23rd to May 29th among a random sample of 611 Ontario residents, 18 years or older.
In April the PCs and NDP had similar sized pools of accessible voters while the PCs had three times as many strong supporters. Fast forward a month and we now find the NDP with a 14-percentage point advantage on accessible voters and just four percentage points fewer core supporters.
More than 7 out of 10 voters usually think of themselves as a supporter of one party or another. The Liberals have the most identifiers at 28% followed by the PCs at 26% and the NDP back at 14%. Strikingly, the NDP have the votes of 31% of Liberal identifiers compared to just 45% voting Liberal. Both the NDP and PCs have the support of about 80% of their identifiers.
On leadership, Andrea Horwath has gained 12 points in favourables since our benchmark in March. Kathleen Wynne is up four points, right on the margin of error. Doug Ford has dropped 8 points in favourables while his unfavourables have risen 15 percent. Given these underlying changes, it is not surprising to see Andrea Horwath now leads as Best Premier at 30% with Doug Ford seven points back at 23%. The current Premier trails at 14%.
Voters in elections have to make two choices; which party they prefer and whether or not to actually vote.
We don’t have strong voter turnout models in Canada, so we looked at the potential for respondents to actually vote three different ways:
The PCs have a marginal lead among the most generally attentive to the campaign, but the NDP has a stronger lead among voters who follow just a few issues.
We combined intention to vote with reported vote in the last campaign to break the sample into three groups – 39% who have both voted last time and definitely plan to do so again, 29% who didn’t vote last time for various reasons but firmly plan to do so this time, and 32% who do not definitely plan to vote this time.
The PCs have a large 12-point lead among people whose intentions are matched by past actions. The NDP dominate by 16 points among those who definitely plan to vote but didn’t in the last election.
This telephone survey overlapped with an online survey so we did a comparison to see if there were any important differences in the samples.
As we noted in our Ontario Politics Backgrounder release, pollsters generally have three ways of determining who is ahead in any given race. At INNOVATIVE, we rely on live callers over IVR because live callers normally achieve significantly higher response rates than IVR and reducing the potential for non-response bias is something we value highly.
The full report includes detailed polling results & analysis on: