Five-Point Lead for Ruling Progressive Conservatives in Ontario

Ontarians are divided when asked if the Liberals and the New Democrats should merge into a single party. 

Vancouver, BC [May 18, 2022] – The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party holds the upper hand in the provincial election campaign, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Ontarians, 34% of decided voters say they will support the Ontario PC candidate in their riding in next month’s provincial ballot.

The Ontario Liberal Party is second with 29%, followed by the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) with 23%, the Ontario Green Party with 7%, the New Blue Party of Ontario with 3% and the Ontario Party with 1%.

The Progressive Conservatives are particularly popular among men (37%) and Ontarians aged 55 and over (41%). The Liberals are ahead in the 416 region (37%), while the New Democrats post their best numbers in Southwestern Ontario (32%).

Ontarians are divided when assessing the performance of Premier and Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Doug Ford. While 46% of the province’s residents approve of the way he has handled his duties, 48% disapprove.

More than two-in-five Ontarians approve of both Official Opposition and Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Andrea Horwath (47%) and Ontario Liberal Party leader Steven Del Duca (42%). The rating is lower for Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner (31%), New Blue Party of Ontario leader Jim Karahalios (13%) and Ontario Party leader Derek Sloan (12%).

The first weeks of the campaign have not yielded a positive momentum score for any of the six main party leaders. One-in-five Ontarians (20%) say their opinion of Del Duca has improved. The numbers are paltrier on this indicator for Horwath (17%), Ford (16%), Schreiner (9%), Karahalios (4%) and Sloan (3%).

A third of Ontarians (33%) say Ford would make the best premier of the province, followed by Horwath (23%), Del Duca (20%), Schreiner (3%), Sloan (2%) and Karahalios (also 2%).

Ontarians identify three issues as the most important ones facing the province: housing, poverty and homelessness (26%), health care (25%) and the economy and jobs (20%).

“Ontarians aged 18-to-34 are more likely to look at housing, homelessness and poverty as the most important challenge (36%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Ontarians aged 55 and over are currently more concerned about health care (32%).”

Ford is perceived as the best leader to manage the economy and jobs (35%), crime and public safety (33%), energy and pipelines (31%) and accountability (29%). Horwath is ahead on being able to handle housing, homelessness and poverty (29%).

There is no clear leader when Ontarians ponder the best person to deal with health care (Horwath 28%, Ford 27%), education (Ford 26%, Del Duca 24%) and the environment (Ford 20%, Horwath 19%, Del Duca 19%, Schreiner 17%).

Ontarians are evenly split when asked if the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) should merge into a single political party. While 41% of the province’s residents agree with this idea, 43% disagree and 16% are undecided.

Support for a provincial merger of Liberals and New Democrats is strongest in the 416 region (48%), but drops in Eastern Ontario (41%), Northern Ontario (also 41%), Southwestern Ontario (39%) and the 905 region (37%).

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from May 15 to May 17, 2022, among 700 Ontario adults, including 602 decided voters in the 2022 provincial election. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.7 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 4.0 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]

Photo Credit: DXR