Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PCs on track for slim majority in Ontario

On Sunday, The National Post reported on a new poll from Ipsos-Reid on the voting intentions of Ontarians. Though it doesn't show much change from Ipsos's last poll in January, or much variation from Nanos's last poll in May, it does show a widening lead for Tim Hudak's Progressive Conservatives.

The Progressive Conservatives are up a statistically insignificant two points in Ontario, and now lead with 40%. The Liberals are down one point to 34%, while the New Democrats are up three points to 20%.

Even that gain isn't much to write home about, considering the sample of 802 Ontarians.

A six-point lead would be the slimmest since Mike Harris's last election in 1999, and would result in a similar outcome.

The Progressive Conservatives are up in places where they are usually weak, however. They have gained six points in the GTA and 17 points in northern Ontario, putting them neck-and-neck with the Liberals in both regions.

They have dropped a little in southwest (-2) and central (-3) Ontario, and are down 10 points in eastern Ontario. However, they still lead the Liberals by 16 points in that region.

For the Liberals, they have made modest gains in eastern (+6) and southwest (+5) Ontario, but are down six points in the GTA and four points in the north.

The New Democrats, meanwhile, are relatively stable in the GTA and southwest and central Ontario, but are up 11 points in the eastern part of the province. They are down seven in the north.

The Progressive Conservatives are in a good position, leading as they do in their traditional regions but also putting up a good fight in the GTA and northern Ontario. This should be of great concern to the Liberals.

With the results of this poll only, ThreeHundredEight projects a slim majority government for the Progressive Conservatives, with 57 of the province's 107 seats. The Liberals win 35 seats and the New Democrats 15.

Compared to their current standings in the Legislative Assembly, that's a 32-seat gain for the PCs, a 36-seat loss for the Liberals, and a five-seat pick-up for the NDP.

This is not much different from the projection for Nanos's last poll, which had 58 seats for the Progressive Conservatives and 34 for the Liberals.

Considering Dalton McGuinty's personal unpopularity, the PCs could be doing better than this. They are still well below the electoral outcome of the federal Conservatives in the province, and the provincial Liberals don't seem to have been hurt by their federal counterpart's drubbing at the polls.

Hudak will be running his first campaign as leader, McGuinty his fourth. Will Dalton McGuinty's experience win out, or will voters want change for change's sake?

20 comments:

  1. I hope people understand that, if Hudak gets elected, every infrastructure project in Ontario will get cancelled for cancellation's sake and restarted from ground zero, wasting eight years of planning, consultation, and negotiation. Hudak's going to want his own photo ops and his own projects, and that means he has to cancel whatever McGuinty started.

    Considering how long it takes to get anything started, changing leaders for change's sake is utterly moronic. Can we at least wait for an actual scandal? McGuinty has some wonderful infrastructure stuff just starting construction (Eglinton LRT Subway, Waterloo GO, etc.) and I'd hate for it to all get cancelled after the fall's election.

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  2. Hudak's team should be running ads about McGuinty, and they should be running them every day.

    McGuinty in hugely unpopular. If the Tories can make voters think of a vote for the Liberals as a vote for McGuinty, they should win easily.

    But if they let the Liberals define a Liberal vote as a vote to protect Ontario from the spectre of Mike Harris, the Liberals can win.

    The model used by Harper in tying the fortuness of the federal Liberals to Ignatieff's unpopularity can work for Tim Hudak in Ontario.

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  3. If Hudak's a true conservative, he should cancel those projects so he can privatise them.

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  4. Response to Ira: Then McGuinty's team should start running ads reminding Ontario of their past experience with privatization, under Mike Harris (ie. Walkerton Tragedy etc.). And come October, Ontario will continue with the liberals. With a minority I'll bet, because the Liberals have been pretty sleazy with their handling of Ontario in the last couple of years (in healthcare etc.)

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  5. Ira what you mean is if Hudack is a true Libertarian, which he isn't. Have you examined his platform, such as it is? Leaves a Conservative looking for a home. Like Harris before him he going to cut taxes BEFORE balancing the budget. Unlike Harris he says it will be hands off Education and Health Care. Finally Hudak doesn't promise anything in the way of deficit relief compared to the McGuinty Liberals. Both will take six or seven years to balance the budget. Hudak's one redeeming point is his pledge to undo McGuinty's green program which is costing billions and will cost many further billions should McGuinty be re-elected. Listening to his adviser Gord Miller I'm now thinking of voting for Hudak, much as I distrust him. Problem is I have no faith in or stomach for McGuinty either.

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  6. AverageCanuck15 June, 2011 15:38

    What I like about Hudak is some of the anti-union measures he's proposing.

    Unions are one of the biggest drivers of costs, especially in the healthcare and education systems as well as at the municipal level, in Ontario.

    Same with BC. Gordon Campbell got tough with the unions early on but then he chickened out and bribed them so there would be peace before the Olympics.

    If we can do what Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin then we can finally get the deficit under control !!

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  7. Eric, you've got the change in seats numbers wrong. The change for the PCs would be +32 on those numbers, not +22.

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  8. TS, right you are. Not sure what I was thinking.

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  9. But if they let the Liberals define a Liberal vote as a vote to protect Ontario from the spectre of Mike Harris,

    Don't ever sell the Ont. Libs short. They know this but it is not close enough to the real campaign to start this approach.

    Expect it in spades once the real campaign starts.

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  10. AverageCanuck OTOH Hudak's anti union message is why I'm thinking of voting McGuinty. Unions have given us the middle class in this nation. While I have no problem with a law prohibiting political spending by both Unions and business it makes no sense to strip unions of their right to negotiate. I don't want a Wisconsin here in Ontario.

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  11. "it makes no sense to strip unions of their right to negotiate. I don't want a Wisconsin here in Ontario. "

    Absolutely agree Earl. With the anti-union thrust from Ottawa at the moment really prominent Hudak we don't need !!

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  12. AverageCanuck15 June, 2011 22:20

    Earl it was actually increasing productivity (due to advances in technology) and the gradual trickle down of wealth (due to free markets) that created the middle class.

    Artificially waising wages just creates distortion, inflation, and a lower standard of living for society - price inflation hitting the poor the hardest of all.

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  13. "Artificially waising wages just creates distortion, inflation, and a lower standard of living for society - price inflation hitting the poor the hardest of all.
    "

    Just like Waising all the tired rhetoric from past Conservatives that has all been proven wrong. But these wascally wabbit Cons never heed nor listen, eh Earl?

    After all how can Greenspan have been wrong?? Look at all those US billionaires !!

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  14. How many on here find AC's espousal of what is essentially Reagan's "trickle down" theory to be so erroneous as policy and fact ??

    Note none of these "believers" will ever admit that Reagan himself, in his second term, said that in fact "trickle down" didn't work and reversed his tax policy to get something that did work. It's documented, go look it up !!

    This specious theory has been used for all sorts of nonsense over the years, very little of which actually worked. As to unions??

    As Earl said, they are the reason we have a middle class!! Without them it would be the very rich and the wretched poor and nothing in between !!

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  15. @Peter - Oh, I fully expect the Liberals to do that very thing. I'm saying that Hudak's only defense is to get out in front of that and start running attack ads NOW. Every day.

    He who strikes first wins.

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  16. Ira

    "I'm saying that Hudak's only defense is to get out in front of that and start running attack ads NOW. Every day."

    Actually he is and I don't think they are having the impact the party expects !! For one thing they aren't very good and attack ONLY McGuinty !! That won't defeat the Liberal Party. !!

    Plus Horvath is out with a couple of really positive ads about what the NDP would do. Stuff I actually could support. So this thing is far, far from settled.

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  17. "Trickle down" was tried in the UK for, roughly speaking, three hundred or so years. It resulted in perhaps the starkest divide between rich and poor since the Roman Empire. Only when the English Liberals, and then Labour, began reforming the tax system and regulating various aspects of the economy did the gap begin to close.

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  18. I am a voter who over the last 25 years have voted for each of the three parties at one time or another. I voted Tory in the last election because I simply liked John Tory.

    The new Leader,Mr. Hudak inspires little confidence. He simply seems to run a negative campaign attacking McGuinty but without any real substance. I find that to be sloppy and arrogant.

    I kind of like Andrea Horwath though she remains untested and I see her more in opposition for at least another election.

    As for Mr. McGuinty, well in truth our province has been stable and the surprise for me is that Mr. Hudak seems to agree with many of Mr. McGuinty's key policies from HST to all-day kindergarten. He must therefore be doing something right. I am also impressed with the kind of candidates Mr. McGuinty is able to attract to the party.

    Much to think about for sure but summer is almost here so I think I will put this on hold till the end of August.

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  19. "Anonymous said...

    The new Leader,Mr. Hudak inspires little confidence. He simply seems to run a negative campaign attacking McGuinty but without any real substance. "

    Totally agree. Interesting exception when they dumped out their financial paper and even extreme right wing papers gasped and said "Eeek Harris" !!

    Told us a lot that did.

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