Winds of Public Debate Driving NDP Momentum

In a second independent online survey within a week, Innovative Research Group (INNOVATIVE) continues the see momentum building for the NDP and the PC lead narrowing.

PC support is marginally down from earlier in the week but there are no signs of growing weakness.

  • Current PC voters are the least likely to have a second choice and the least likely to consider switching to their second choice if they have one.
  • Doug Ford’s favourables are up 4 points while his negatives are stable.
  • Doug Ford’s best Premier numbers are also stable.
  • The PC’s earlier slippage among economically alienated voters appears to have stabilized.

The NDP continues to narrow the gap with the PCs based on changing views of their competitiveness:

  • The NDP vote continues to grow, rising from 27% to 31% of decided vote.
  • While Andrea Horwath’s favourables are stable, sustaining the gains seen in our earlier poll, she now has a marginal lead as Best Premier.
  • The NDP have sustained their earlier gains among economically alienated voters.
  • More voters are considering the NDP as a real option as perceptions that the election is no longer a two-horse race also continue to grow.

The Liberals continue to struggle with ‘time-for-a-change’ sentiment:

  • ‘Time-for-a-change’ sentiment continues to mount, shrinking the core Liberal base of support. However, the decline in core voters was offset by an increase in conflicted supporters.
  • The Liberals only lead among Ontario’s “have” voters.

More voters see the Liberals (38%) as having the best chance of beating the PCs rather than the NDP (29%) have the best chance. The perception is strongly correlated with vote.

The winds of public debate strongly favour the NDP.

  • Voters are more aware of the Liberal and PC campaigns than the NDP campaign.
  • Higher awareness is hurting the Liberals and PCs because what voters are hearing is leaving them less favourables.
  • While just under half of the respondents said they heard something about the NDP, the impact among those voters was overwhelmingly positive.

The question now is what happens when more people hear more about the NDP?

If the net impact of NDP communications remains positive, the NDP is poised to overtake the PCs by either winning a larger share of the left-wing value clusters, increasing their share of economically alienated voters or replacing the Liberals as the party best able to stop the PCs. 


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These are the findings of a special Innovative Research Group (INNOVATIVE) online poll conducted from May 9th to May 12th, 2018 with tracking drawn for our monthly Canada This Month survey.

This online survey of 1,529 adult Ontarians was conducted on INNOVATIVE’s Canada 20/20 national research panel with additional respondents from Survey Sampling International (SSI), a leading provider of online sample. The sample is weighted to n=1,500 based on Census data from Statistics Canada.

The Canada 20/20 Panel is recruited from a wide variety of sources to reflect the age, gender, region and language characteristics of the country as a whole.  Each survey is administered to a series of randomly selected samples from the panel and weighted to ensure that the overall sample’s composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data to provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample.

INNOVATIVE provides each panelist with a unique URL via an email invitation so that only invited panel members are able to complete the survey, and panel members can only complete a particular survey once.

This is a representative sample. However, since the online survey was not a random probability-based sample, a margin of error cannot be calculated. The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association prohibits statements about margins of sampling error or population estimates with regard to most online panels.

NOTE: References to May 2018 Wave 1 refer to our May 2018 Canada this Month survey in field from May 7th to May 9th, with a weighted sample of N=915 respondents.

Detailed tables: For all surveys, complete results as well as additional methodological details, are available in the full report.