Doug Ford and Ontario PCs ahead by 14 as NDP falls behind Liberals.

In a recent survey conducted by Abacus Data, exclusively provided to the Toronto Star, from February 15 to 21, 2024, a sample of 1,000 eligible Ontario voters was interviewed to capture the current political climate within the province.

The Progressive Conservatives, led by Doug Ford, have a14-point lead over Bonnie Crombie’s Ontario Liberals. Since the beginning of February, the PCs have seen a marginal increase of 1 point, with the Ontario Liberals holding steady. Conversely, the Ontario NDP has witnessed a decline of 4 points, marking the lowest level of support since the last provincial election. The Ontario Greens are up 2 points to 8% across the province.

Regional and Demographic Dynamics:

  • The Progressive Conservatives are leading in every region within Ontario, with a 13-point lead among men and a narrower 4-point lead among women.
  • Age demographics show the PCs ahead across all brackets, with the Liberals gaining popularity among those aged 45 and over, while the NDP secures more support from the under-45 cohort.
  • Remarkably, the PCs are retaining 87% of their past supporters and have attracted 20% of those who backed the federal Liberals in 2021, along with 86% of previous federal Conservative voters.

Government Performance and Leader Impressions:

  • Approval for the Ford government has dipped slightly by 3 points but remains consistent with trends observed since last summer.
  • Doug Ford’s personal approval ratings are mixed, with 30% viewing him positively against a 47% negative perception, netting a score of -17.
  • Bonnie Crombie holds a net score of -2, with 27% positive and 29% negative impressions.
  • NDP Leader Marit Stiles mirrors Crombie’s score, with 23% positive and 25% negative views.
  • Mike Schreiner of the Green Party stands with 19% positive and 21% negative impressions, also resulting in a net score of -2.
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Public Perception of Cost of Living Influences:

When Ontarians were asked which level of government has most contributed to increasing their cost of living, a significant 64% pointed to the federal government, while 36% attributed it to the Ford government.

Key Takeaways:

1. Doug Ford’s personal brand, built on a taxpayer-first philosophy and dedication to affordability, provides a buffer against the downward trends affecting other incumbents.

2. A fragmented opposition has given the PCs and Ford a substantial advantage in the province.

3. The Ontario NDP is experiencing internal and external pressures, with the Liberals, under Bonnie Crombie, starting to solidify their position as the primary alternative to the Ford administration.

4. The NDP’s internal challenges and the rise of a resilient Green Party pose significant risks to their position, with the potential for the Liberals to capitalize on these weaknesses.

5. Despite Ford’s strong showing in voter intentions, his position is not unassailable, reflected in the government’s overall approval ratings, suggesting potential vulnerabilities.


Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have settled into a comfortable lead, buoyed by a personal brand that resonates with Ontarians’ concerns over living costs. However, beneath the surface of voter intention, the political landscape is fluid, with the NDP’s decline and internal strife offering an opening for the Liberals. Meanwhile, the Green Party’s incremental gains hint at a broader desire for alternatives among the electorate. Ford’s leadership, while currently strong, stands on a precipice, where the balance of public approval and the shifting sands of opposition dynamics could influence the future political narrative in Ontario.


The survey targeted 1,000 eligible voters across Ontario, ensuring a representative sample that reflects the province’s demographic composition. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of this size is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Data were weighted according to census statistics on age, gender, and region to ensure sample representativity.

The survey was funded and conducted by Abacus Data.


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