A new poll from Forum Research and the Toronto Star shows that the Progressive Conservatives under Patrick Brown enjoy a narrow lead over the Ontario Liberals, despite Kathleen Wynne's disapproval ratings being sky-high.
The poll (only the Star report is online at the moment) gave the Tories 34% and the Liberals 31%, virtually unchanged from the 36% to 30% spread that Forum recorded in early November. The New Democrats had 26%, also unchanged from that previous poll.
Brown seems to have a profile problem. He has a net positive approval rating at 25% approval to 24% disapproval, but 51% of Ontarians still don't have an opinion of him. That is a lot of people to impress — or repel.
Wynne has an approval rating of just 23%, with 61% disapproving of her performance as premier.
Andrea Horwath of the NDP had a 40% approval rating and 26% disapproval rating.
It is a problem for the PCs when they are not doing better against such an unpopular premier. A similar situation in Manitoba is taking place, but the numbers are completely different. In Manitoba, the New Democrats have been in power since 1999 though the premier, Greg Selinger, is relatively new. He is deeply unpopular and trailing in the polls by about 20 points.
In Ontario, the Liberals have been in power since 2003, though Wynne is a relatively fresh face. She is also unpopular. But she is trailing in the polls by just three points.
Twas the night before Christmas on Parliament Hill
I deal with numbers on a daily basis, but for this holiday season I thought I'd try my hand with words. Here's my rendition (along with a dramatic reading!) of "A Visit from St. Nicholas", adapted for the Ottawa bubble.