Ontario election: New poll finds Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats neck-to-neck, with liberals trailing behind

By Marina Wang

With the Ontario provincial election less than two weeks away, a new poll has found that the New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives are running neck-and-neck, according to popular vote.

The poll[1]https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/news-polls/Global-News-Detailed-Ontario-Vote-May-23-2018, conducted by Ipsos, found that the New Democrats were at 37 per cent with the Progressive Conservatives just behind at 36 per cent. The Ontario Liberals, led by premier Kathleen Wynne, is trailing behind at 23 per cent.

The poll found that votes for the Progressive Conservative party, led by Doug Ford, dropped by 4 per cent since last week, while the New Democrats, led by Andrea Howarth, has increased by 2 per cent to take the lead. The Ontario Liberal vote has increased by 1 per cent.

According to pundits, many voters made their choices with the aim of ousting Wynne. Wynne has previously been criticized for her party’s fiscal spending and selling of Hydro One, with her approval rating dropping to a low of 12 per cent last year. “You’ve been in power for 15 years and you’ve accumulated baggage in terms of broken promises and expenditure scandals,” said National Post columnist Andrew Coyne.

Ontario politics heated up, however, when Ford, brother to late Toronto mayor Rob Ford, won the PC leadership race in March. Pundits say that Ford’s rash behaviour and so far lack of party platform will deter voters looking for a PC alternative, leaving New Democrat leader Howarth as the third option.

Pundits have described Howarth as the “lesser of three evils”. According to the Ipsos poll 46 per cent of NDP voters said they made their choice to prevent another party from winning. Howarth’s platform has promised to provide drug and dental care for Ontarians, put Hydro One back into public hands and convert many student loans to student grants.

The Ontario provincial election is set for June 7.

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/news-polls/Global-News-Detailed-Ontario-Vote-May-23-2018