Friday, May 23, 2014

Ipsos shows PC lead, but a shrinking one

The polls have yet to really form a consensus on the Ontario provincial election campaign, but they do seem to be moving in a more comprehensible direction. The latest poll from Ipsos Reid for CTV and CP24 still gave the Progressive Conservatives the lead, but one that is decreasing from their earlier survey. It is perhaps another example of stable Liberal, but softening PC, support. Nevertheless, the Tories retain a commanding lead among those most likely to cast a ballot.

The projection has moved the PCs back in front, with 37.3% support (or between 36% and 41%) against 35% for the Liberals (or between 34% and 39%). The New Democrats have increased their support to 23.2% (or between 21% and 25%), while the Greens stand at 3.3% (or between 2% and 4%).

Unlike most previous projections that gave the Liberals the seat advantage at this sort of margin, the projection now considers the PCs more likely to win a plurality of seats. They are awarded 45, or between 38 and 54 (just putting a majority in reach). The Liberals sit at 41 seats, or between 32 and 50. The NDP is at 21 seats, or between 17 and 24. The party that would win the most seats is still a toss-up, but it is leaning PC again.

But why are the polls in such disagreement? This is not something that can be easily answered. On the one hand, methodology is surely a factor. The recent online polls have been better for the Tories, the IVR polls for the Liberals. On the other hand, pollsters using different methodologies came up with similar numbers in the recent Quebec election, and are in general agreement at the federal level. Different methodologies do not necessarily give different results, and an online poll done earlier in the campaign by the Innovative Research Group had good Liberal numbers, while a telephone poll had good PC numbers.

I think the reason is something more specific to this campaign, and to Ontarians in particular. Followers of this site know that the polls in Ontario have not been in agreement for many months. In the 2011 provincial campaign, the polls were also choatic (about half gave the Liberals the lead, the other half the PCs) until the last week. However, despite the smaller sample sizes, the federal polls in Ontario have been relatively consistent.

To me, this suggests that the low level of voter interest in Ontario provincial politics (recall that turnout was just 48% in 2011) is a significant factor. There is also the question of swing voters, as I explain below. Add to all of this the methodological differences and multiply it by the difficulties in building a sample in this low-response world of ours, and I think you have the ingredients for a great deal of volatility between polls. We will see if the numbers converge in the last week or two when voters start tuning in.

Ipsos was last in the field on May 12-14, and since then the Progressive Conservatives have dropped four points to 35%, while the Liberals have increased their support by one point to reach 31%. The NDP was up four points to 28%, while support for other parties was down one point to 6%. In all, 19% of the sample was undecided.

None of these shifts are outside the margin of error of similarly sized probabilistic samples. There is no real trend, either, as this poll is more or less a return to where the parties stood when Ipsos surveyed earlier in the campaign.

Among likely voters, the PCs dropped two points to 41%, the Liberals slipped one point to 30%, and the NDP increased by four points to 26%. Again, there is no consistent trend here, though every poll that makes the distinction shows a significant boost for the Tories among likely voters.

The PCs led in every region of the province except Toronto and the North, where the Liberals and NDP, respectively, were ahead. There is nothing in the regional numbers that stands out as unusual, but there were some big swings: the NDP picked up 11 points in Toronto, while the PCs fell by 12 points. The Liberals were up 19 points in central Ontario, and the PCs moved ahead of the NDP in the southwest.

On who would make the best premier, Andrea Horwath topped the list with 38%, followed by Kathleen Wynne at 32% and Tim Hudak at 30%. We can't compare this to the last time Ipsos asked this question at the beginning of the campaign, however, as they removed Mike Schreiner as an option (did his 9% go primarily to Horwath?).

Among likely voters, however, Hudak was first with 36%, followed by Wynne at 34% and Horwath at 30%. That is a rather significant difference.

There were also a few regional differences on this question. Despite the five-point lead for the PCs in the GTA/905 region, Wynne was well ahead with 38% to 33% for Horwath and 30% for Hudak. That is not a particularly strong sign for the PCs in a battleground region. Similarly, in southwestern Ontario Horwath was seen as the best person to be premier by 47% of respondents, compared to just 29% for Hudak. And this in the context of a six-point PC lead.

I did say that the polls are moving in a more comprehensible direction, and that may seem confusing considering the back-and-forth that we have seen since the campaign began. But look at the chart below, which plots each poll of eligible voters according to the days the poll was in the field (i.e., a poll in the field on one day gets one dot, a poll in the field over three days gets three).


It is a bit of a mess, but you can see that the Liberal high and low polls have generally held steady. They are, however, very far apart. The PC high and low polls are converging a little, with the highs no longer so high and the lows no longer so low. The NDP, meanwhile, appears to be heading in neither a positive nor negative direction.

It could be that in the discrepancies there is a bit of a pattern. The PCs are moving to the mid-30s among all eligible voters, while the Liberals are still hard to pin down and stand somewhere in the 30s. The NDP is somewhere still between the high and low 20s.

The last Abacus poll suggested that there are more voters accessible to the NDP and Liberals, that they have a smaller core (10% each to 16% for the PCs) but a larger group of swing voters (46% for the NDP, 44% for the Liberals, against 35% for the PCs). This may be what we are seeing. From one poll to the next there is less variation in PC support because their support is more settled, but there are more swing voters going back and forth between the Liberals and NDP, causing their numbers to wobble back and forth more dramatically.

Something to consider as we await the next round of polls.

53 comments:

  1. NDP on the rise. They are positioning themselves in the center with modest corp tax increase, lowering small business tax, and capping public sector CEO salaries. As I said in a previous post, the polls are parallel with the last federal. Despite polls and pundits pointing to a 2-party race in the early stage of the election. Horwath's personal popularity (like Layton's) will start to be reflected in the numbers of her party.

    She has a solid reasonable platform to back up her personal popularity.

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    1. Horwath's problem is that she seems to lack confidence and isn't very good at public speaking, so she has a very difficult time holding on to any spotlight she receives. I truly do believe that she could bleed away support from the Liberals as the campaign continues to progress as no one denies she is a likable figure who comes across as more genuine than the other two leaders, but a lot of that will depend on her ability to deliver a message that can inspire voters to dump the Liberals rather than just chugging along with the status quo.

      On another topic, this was one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the polling situation in Ontario right now. Thanks, Eric!

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    2. I gotta say, I never thought I'd see the NDP propose $700 million in cuts to health and education instead of raising taxes on the rich.

      But there it is in the platform.

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    3. Horwath does have a huge problem. She is alienating her party's social democratic base at the expense of going after the populist swing vote.

      Layton was able to attract new NDP supporters while keeping the old ones. Horwath may push a chunk of these voters to the left-leaning urbanite Wynne, especially in downtown Toronto.

      Downtown Toronto NDP MPPs are distancing themselves from Horwath. 4 out of 5 Toronto MPPs did attend Horwath's budget launch. Rosario Marchese's lawn signs have removed Horwath's face on them. Peter Tabuns campaign flyers has no mention of his leader or party. Not suprised since at times the projection model shows the NDP losing 4 seats in Toronto and also trailing in ridings they should be winning like Scarborough Rouge River and York South Weston.

      Outside of Toronto, it seems like the NDP numbers are good enough that they could hold the seats they currently have including the by-election gains. But their numbers don't seem good enough to turf Liberal and PC incumbents. It seems like they are only competitive in Windsor West, Brant, Sudbury, Thunderbay Atikokan and Brampton Springdale - none of which is a slam dunk for the party.

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    4. Ryan,

      Methinks they've taken a liking to Tony Blair... (as Alex McDonough did in her day)

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    5. And Big Jay, you're right about the alienation of the social democratic base. I wouldn't dream of voting for this NDP (unless as a strategic vote). If I wanted Liberal policies I'd vote Liberal.

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    6. I've never voted NDP in my life (fiscal conservative, social libertarian would more or less characterize me), but I'm likely to vote NDP in this election. So there's one vote she's attracted.

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  2. " There is nothing in the regional numbers that stands out as unusual, but there were some big swings: the NDP picked up 11 points in Toronto, while the PCs fell by 12 points. The Liberals were up 19 points in central Ontario, and the PCs moved ahead of the NDP in the southwest."

    Eric, wouldn't you say the result of 48% for the NDP in the North is a significant swing as well?

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    1. The sample is tiny (36 respondents), so I'm just focusing on the NDP lead, which is not unusual.

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  3. i still think we won't see a consensus until after the debate. people just aren't personally invested in the election right now.

    doesn't help that media tends to just focus on horse-race numbers instead of the issues.

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    1. the debate is only about a week before the voting--unless someone delivers a knock out punch the momentum swing won't be as large

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    2. the debate is only a week before the election so the movement won't be as large as before unless some delivers a knock out punch---OI am surprised that the Liberal scandals are not on the front burner

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    3. Agreed Bryan - until the debate this is going to be up in the air. A strong performance by any of the big 3 could shift things significantly. Interesting that Hudak wimped out on the Northern leaders debate and then lied about it. To claim he didn't have a fair chance to pick a day is a pure lie which angers a lot of people up here. The group holding the debate asked weeks ago for all 3 parties to give them dates that worked and offered up a few that they felt would work. They didn't get formal replies though and kept asking over and over again until finally they had to say 'this is the day, are you coming'.

      We really need clear rules on these things.

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  4. I find it interesting how Ipsos found that the top second choice of PC supporters is the NDP (25%) rather than the Liberals (15%). Kinda reminiscent of an EKOS poll during the QC election that found that a plurality (42%) of CAQ (right-of-centre) supporters were NDP supporters at the federal level. Kinda blows apart the oft-cited assumption by us political nerds that swing voters at either side of the spectrum solely flow to the centre and never skip all the way to the other side.

    Dom

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    1. The NDP and Liberals have swapped political position with the NDP taking a more centrist position than the Liberals. Seeing this kind of swing isn't entirely surprising, at least as far as Ontario goes.

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  5. And, as always, the NDP even in this poll wields the balance of power !!

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    1. I don't see that at all. At 41% of likely voters the PCs are on the cusp of a majority. At 26% of likely voters the NDP are headed for third place and with 30% of likely voters the Liberals are placed to lose seats.

      Most telling the Liberals lead only in Toronto and their likely voter number is less than general voting intentions suggesting usual Liberal voters are not motivated.

      Finally, in terms of methodology of polls and their inconsistency I wonder whether sampling errors have occurred. With cell phones and the internet without asking a respondent where they vote it is difficult to determine if a representative sample was obtained. My suspicion is polls that show the OLP at 40% or better have an over sample of GTA voters. Conversely if a poll came out that had the PCs in the mid-40's I would think a over-sample of the Southwest and Eastern Ontario was likely.

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    2. Based on Éric'c current projection, Peter is absolutely correct.

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    3. Based on Eric's projection yes. Based on the poll no.

      One thing we can all agree on, come June 13th the NDP will be in third place.

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    4. I think this time around the NDP would not have the same amount of power in a Liberal minority.

      If the Liberals are back in power, then Hudak will resign and the Tories would want some time to recuperate their party after the leadership race.

      During that time I could see the Tories prop up the Liberals and allow Wynne to make budget concessions. The Tories could tell their base that its too soon for an election and it is better for them to work with the Liberals than to let the NDP prop them up again.

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  6. My suspicion is that online surveys like Ipsos are less accurate than telephone/IVR polling because the membership of the panel is basically self-selected. The online polls seemed to favour the PCs in 2011 as well, while other polls favoured the Liberals, and the Liberals won a minority in that election. Although I see more PC signs than I remember last time, for instance in St. Pauls, a safe Liberal seat, so I suspect this race will be quite a bit closer this time, though the Liberals will probably still win it. I think that the PCs have gained somewhat in Toronto since the last election, so we will likely end up with either a smaller Liberal minority or a PC minority.

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    1. Telephone/IVR polls are only "random" to the extent that they dial random numbers. However, an increasing number of people (subject to demographic biases) are increasingly difficult to reach by phone, and even among those reached, they then have to actually agree to participate in the survey, a kind of self-selection in itself, and the likelihood of agreeing to participate is almost certainly also subject to demographic biases. In the end, I don't see how that's overall tremendously different from the "self-selection" that occurs when a reader of a website happens to notice an ad on the side inviting them to participate in an online survey. Certain demographics are almost definitely better reached this way. If the ads are sufficiently spread out among websites that collectively attract a broad readership, I imagine a pretty representative sample of respondents can be achieved.

      Dom

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    2. @ Andrew

      There may be a problem with on-line polls but the problems with the IVR seem insurmountable:

      - Who the heck would answer a IVR survey?

      - If your parents told you they were getting robo calls asking where they lived, how old they were , what their income was and who they were going to vote for.... what advice would you give them?

      People who answer the robo calls (if they even pick up the phone with the unknown or unfamiliar caller id) are a very small , very specific sample of the whole population and not at all a sample of the voting universe..... which after all is what polling is all about.



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    3. In the States, Public Policy Polling (PPP) uses IVR polling and is one of the most successful polsters out there. On-line panels can be pretty successful as well, with YouGov and Ipsos doing an exceptional job in 2012 presidential election

      http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/08/news/la-pn-which-pollsters-did-best-election-20121108

      http://today.yougov.com/news/2012/11/07/yougov-poll-performance-2012-us-elections/

      Of course, IVR can be horrible (Rasmussen), although it really depends on how you model your raw data to represent the population that will vote.

      So, to make the blanket statement that IVR has insurmountable problems is wrong. Every polling strategy has its benefits and drawbacks. However, we shouldn't reject them because their results don't conform to our expectations.

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  7. With the reported numbers, I get:

    44 PC
    39 OLP
    24 NDP

    If I use the likely voters, I get:

    52 PC
    34 OLP
    21 NDP

    And with the 308-poll average, I get:

    45 PC
    44 OLP
    18 NDP

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  8. There has always been a strong NDP-PC vote shift in Ontario, particularly in the north and southwest.

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    1. Traditionally, a NDP-PC swing has existed throughout rural Canada especially in B.C.

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    2. Voters shift between all four parties rather fluidly. They are not as partisan as we think they are.

      Same swing voters brought in Bob Rae, Mike Harris and Dalton McGuinty.

      In 2007, the Green surge was mostly from PC voters who were upset at John Tory's faith based funding policies.

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  9. Eric, you make an interesting case on why the polls are all over the place in the Ontario provincial scene. It makes sense that low interest and a large number of swing voters/undecided voters can make the numbers confusing.

    A minor rant coming along.

    The media loves to hammer on about the flaws on Wynne, Hudak and Horwath, their parties and policies. Fair enough. But perhaps there should be more focus on why the electorate is so disengaged with provincial politics. Why was turnout below 50% in the last election, with no signs of higher voter enthusiasm this time around.

    In a federalist system like ours we should be more engaged at the provincial level than the federal level!

    One can't claim election fatigue either. Since it has been over 2.5 years since there was any kind of general election in this province.

    These same non-voters are going to complain if Premier Wynne spends too much or Premier Hudak cuts too much!

    Then again, the majority of voters want spending on services they use and cuts on services they don't use. Perfect example this week was when a right-wing National Post columnist criticized Hudak for cuts because it would negatively affect her family.

    *sigh*

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    1. I am confused why you think a federal/ confederal system has higher engagement for the lower order of government? That certainly has not been the case in Canada or America, that may be the case with Australia but, since, they have mandatory voting I'm, not sure the Aussies can help us draw many conclusions. In the last Scottish parliamentary elections turnout was 50% whereas for the UK general election it was closer to 63%.

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    2. In Ontario, the federal turnout is generally higher than the provincial turnout in the past few elections.

      2007 provincial - 53%
      2008 federal - 59%
      2011 federal - 62%
      2011 provincial - 49%

      It is unfortunate, but I think the turnout may hit be below 45% this time around.

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    3. If turnout ends up being that low, it will work to Hudak's advantage in a much bigger way than some of the polls are currently alluding to, and the likely voter numbers from Ipsos and Abacus will become that much more important to watch.

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    4. Big Jay wrote: In a federalist system like ours we should be more engaged at the provincial level than the federal level"!

      Why should engagement be stronger at the provincial level?

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    5. Use PR if you want higher turnout, since every vote matters in PR while most don't in FPTP.

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    6. The problem with some methods of PR is that you end up with members with no constituency representation, making them more loyal to the party and its list than they are to the community that actually elects them. BC-STV was a half-decent attempt to get around this issue, but Ontario's foray into mixed member proportional was absolutely hideous. There were any number of ways to do it better than that.

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    7. @ Bebe,

      I believe engagement should be stronger at the provincial level, because our subnational governments are amongst the most powerful in the world. The provincial jurisdictions in Canada cover more "day-to-day" issues than the federal government (i.e. education, health, transit, energy, resources). Municipalities themselves are mere creatures of the provincial government. The province has so much power over municipalities, while the feds are somewhat powerless over the provinces.

      In the future, I could continue to see a weaker role for the federal government and more provincial powers.

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    8. First off, the federal government is not powerless over the provinces. The powers of disallowance, reservation as well as the legal concept of paramountcy give Canada significant powers and sway over provincial actions and legislation. Some may argue these powers are in abeyance but, it is notable that they were not removed by Trudeau's constitution and are no doubt extant even if they are abeyant. I suspect should Quebec ever declare a UDI these powers would re-emerge very quickly.

      It is debatable what order of government have the greatest impact on day-to-day life. Currency is federally regulated as is the money supply and interest rates, immigration, trade agreements, telecommunications, criminal law and the appointment of superior court judges etc...even transportation, health and natural resources are more shared responsibilities than held exclusively by one order of government. Indeed, the federal spending power at times gives that order of government a veto on various social policy or transportation projects a province may wish to embark upon. Most people don't use healthcare on a daily basis and while energy is used by most daily many provinces have "sub-contracted" that responsibility and its management to either Crown corporations or quasi-legislative agencies such as the BC Utilities Commission.

      In short I do not see compelling evidence that provincial governments hold a more prominent place or impact on the daily life of Canadians vis a vis the federal government, arguments can be made either way.

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    9. Paul,

      Every vote counts in FPTP just as much as PR in fact votes in FPTP hold greater weight since, the constituency is much smaller.

      In PR your vote is roughly 1/7,000,000 for Ontario. In FPTP your vote is 1/100,000. PR diminishes the weight of a person's vote.

      BC-STV was an interesting proposal but, at the end of the day some ballots were counted more than once while others were counted only a single time. Inherently systems such as BC-STV or the Irish system allow those who vote for candidates that quickly drop off to have more votes than those who vote for the person who is in the final count since, second, third fourth, fifth preferences will be counted-inherently I find such a system unfair. Now some argue that this can be corrected by counting a fifth place preference as .2 of a vote for example but, to me that seems equally unfair-either you over count and over value some ballots or you create a fractional system that undervalues some ballots.

      With a single exception every time a PR proposals goes to referendum it gets defeated. Even the "successful" 2005 BC referendum was more populist commentary on politicians than the electoral system.

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    10. I've never once before heard anyone call runoff voting inherently unfair. I guess there's a first time for everything.

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    11. bede, I must disagree with your assessment. FPTP is a horrid anachronism that has no place in a modern democracy. In my opinion, the STV option was the best. I'm not wedded to details, but the ability to have multiple members represent a district while maintaining more proportionality is a definite plus to me.

      MMP is a horrid system - it brings together the worst of both worlds: unaccountable party list members and FPTP.

      FPTP has very strange quirks that proponents argue is what makes it a good system. I would argue these quirks are undemocratic. First: approaching 40% of the votes cast equals a majority of the seats. I've never understood how this can be seen as a positive. How can a monolithic entity such as a single party that represents a minority of citizens be trusted to accurately work on the behalf of all citizens? It just doesn't work. Coalition governments are the norm in Germany - and the most common and liked governments are when left leaning and right leaning parties come together and compromise. What a concept! ;)
      Second: Votes that are wide but shallow geographically are severely disadvantaged compared to votes that are deep and narrow. The comparison I always make is between the Bloc Quebecois and the Greens. If the Greens received 10% of the vote, but was spread Canada wide, they would get less seats than the Bloc if they also got 10% Canada wide but was concentrated in Quebec.
      Third: FPTP encourages the creation of a two-party system. The U.S. is the end result of this: while each parties there have fairly big tents (ranging from Louisiana Democrats to New England Republicans) there are still only two major entrenched parties. How is that good for democracy if voices of citizens are forced into two choices that might not even reflect their actual beliefs?
      Fourth: Third parties have all the power. If there isn't an undemocratic unmajority, then a minority government happens and the third party gets to pretty much call the shots. How is this at all democratic either? If there is a proportional system, different parties would have seats that would actually approach their votes as well. But in FPTP, these third parties actually make up the bulk of the power in legislatures.

      So, I do think that STV is fairer. How can transferring a vote be less fair than all of the above defects of the FPTP system? It allows people to vote their actual conscience initally and transfer their vote to others whom they feel would be a second to their initial choice.

      The arguments against seem to be simply intellectually lazy.

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    12. Jay take a look at the front page of Threehunderdandeight and realise just how ridiculous the polls have been for this election. Talk about swing !!

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  10. You know Eric there really is something odd going on here.
    We get Forum giving the Libs the lead and three days later Ipsos giving the PC the lead !!

    And I'll bet if you go back an look at the polls from the a=art of the campaign by the various pollsters you will find a stability vs pollster situation??

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  11. I am very skeptical about Ipsos Reid. Both Federally and Provincially, they give the largest leads to Conservatives and now that everybody is talking about collapsing NDP support in Ontario, they are showing a rebounding for NDP. Conservatives would love this; they know the greatest threat to Hudak comes from a united center-left with NDP supporters losing hope in NDP and coming behind Wynne Liberals. Now, this poll shows there is some hope for NDP and it should not be deserted by its supporters.

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    1. I think Shahin you need to be skeptical about all the pollsters !! Too much suspicious here ??

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  12. Does anybody else on here detect a "pollster bias" ??

    I do, in that a specific pollster will always have a specific party in the lead and a different pollster will do the same but for another party ?

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  13. Except that Ipsos has the NDP{ taking support from the PCs - how can it be good news for Hudak if the NDP has succeeded in making itself so moderate that anti-government voters who find Hudak too extreme now have another place to park their vote...the NDP strategy is to go after soft PC voters and so far it seems to be working...every poll lately shows that PC voters tend to have the NDP as their second choice NOT the Liberals

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    1. Now the question is would enough PC/OLP supporters shift their support to the NDP for them to win seats.

      In places they need to win like rural Southwestern ridings like Chantam Kent Essex and Sarnia Lambton, they have underwhelming candidates and a quiet campaign.

      In midwestern ridings like Cambridge, the NDP should in theory be the primarily competitor to the PCs, but it seems like the OLP is pulling the stronger campaign.

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  14. The reason McGuinty was able to hang on in 2011 is a record low turnout.

    There is a common complaint that Harper got elected to a majority with only the support of 24% of eligible voters.

    It can be easily argued that a non-vote is a vote for the Current government. In 2011 40% of the 60% that voted voted for Harper. 24% of all eligible Canadian voters.
    However 40% thought Harper was doing a good enough job that they were not motivated to vote him out....... 64% of all Canadians are Okay with Harper being PM..

    In Ontario 2011 only .37 * .49 = 18% of all eligible voters voted for McGuinty. However 51% were comfortable enough with McGuinty that they didn't vote.

    This year, after the disastrous and well publicized mess the Liberals made I expect that the turnout will be higher than 49%. If the turnout is anywhere near the 58% that showed up to vote in Ontario the 2011 federal election I look for a huge CP majority.

    PS. In 2011 the Federal CPC would have expended considerable effort to GOTV for the federal election. The 5 month gap may not have been enough of a rest.

    This year it seem that the CPC machine is more invloved in the Ontario election. The Ontario Liberal GOTV is likely being hampered by the divergence of donations to the Federal Liberals. Same people and only so much time and money to go around.

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    1. Is there any proof that OLP donations are being hampered by donations to the LPC?

      Party donation laws are lax in Ontario compared to the federal level. The OLP is heavily funded by both corporations and unions. Federally, a party cannot rely on too much on corporate or union funds because of donation limits (of course corporate and union folks can still donate to them within the $5000 limit). The CPC was successful in getting individuals to make small donations and now the LPC is successfully following them.

      The OLP is primarily funded by the teachers union, construction/steel unions, PR firms and the industries of construction, real estate, agriculture, energy, technology (from RIM to Samsung), mining, automobile and alcohol.

      These are special interests that have a vetted interest to see the OLP succeed and get re-elected. A lot of them do not the same level of federal policy interests.

      Junior federal staffers from all three parties are helping out in the provincial campaigns for experience for the 2015 election. A few CPC and NDP MPs are helping out their local riding candidate. Other than that I do not see much evidence of increased activity from the CPC machine. PCs have yet to master the same voter targeting practices of their federal cousins.

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    2. Checking 2012 returns (the most recent available from what I can determine) you can see the OLP had 108 donations of the max $9300, another 129 of $5000+, and another 462 of $1000-$4999. That is a lot of money - $2.9 million from large donations.

      For the extreme the other way, Greens had 3 donations of $5k+ totaling just shy of $21k, $147k from the 76 donors of $1000+.

      Money is big in Ontario politics. The ability to get companies to donate to your cause is critical for a fully funded campaign.

      Btw, if you wonder why certain groups get what take a look at the Liberal top donor list - the banks are there, Bombardier, the brewers, hotels, Canadian Tire, unions, car companies, etc.

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    3. @ Big Jay

      The Cons federal staffers in Ontario have a tremendous numerical advantage over the federal Liberals....73 to 11. As the federal government is located in Ottawa.... the number of Cons staffers in the area advantage goes to 166-34

      Wynne's attacks on Harper might have motivated the troops.

      The next federal election is far enough in the future that there will not be campaign fatigue and this will be a good dry run for whatever new stuff (voter identification, GOTV, fund raising, message control, candidate exposure) they have been working on.

      The Liberals (Having their campaign workers posing as NDP protesters AND getting caught in the act) are not running a smooth campaign.

      Your point about the Liberal backers is valid as far the unions but the private corporate interests are likely hedging their bets and won't be going all in supporting the likely loser.

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  15. It also may indicate just how strong the rejection of Hudak by the left-PC voters feel.

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