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By David Coletto
As part of our national survey completed on April 14, we asked some questions exclusively of the 817 respondents living in Ontario. Note, this survey was done prior to yesterday’s announcement on new restrictions in the province and serves as a good benchmark to assess how people will react.
Here’s a quick summary of what we found:
The Ontario PCs and Liberals are tied at 34% with the Ontario NDP in third at 23%.
If an election were held at the time of the survey, the PCs would get 34%, the Ontario Liberals 34%, the NDP 23% and the Greens 5%. Since our last survey in January, the PC vote share is unchanged, the Liberals are up 5, while the NDP is down 2.
Regionally, the Liberals have a large lead in Toronto, the PCs are slightly ahead in the GTHA and eastern Ontario while the Southwest region is a close three-way race.
The PCs lead among those over 30 while trailing well back of the Liberals and NDP among those aged 18 to 29.
Doug Ford’s personal image is net positive, but down slightly from January
Doug Ford continues to find more people having a positive view of them than a negative one. 37% have a positive view while 34% have a negative one. His positives and negatives are largely unchanged since January.
Among those who voted PC in 2018, 71% have a positive view of the Premier while 13% have a negative view. A minority of Liberal, NDP, and Green supporters have a positive view of Mr. Ford, something we didn’t see prior to the pandemic.
Almost half of Ontarians give the provincial government negative grades on its handling of certain aspects of the pandemic, especially its vaccine rollout.
When asked to rate the provincial government’s handling of vaccinations, 46% feel the government has done a poor or terrible job, while 24% feel it has done a good or excellent job. The rest (30%) think it has done an acceptable job.
When asked about provincial COVID restrictions, 45% felt the provincial government’s restrictions were not stringent enough while only 18% felt they were too stringent. There isn’t much difference across voter groups.
Going into yesterday’s announcement by Premier Ford on new restrictions, his government was facing substantial headwinds. Almost half were dissatisfied with his handling of the vaccine rollout. Far more felt that restrictions were not stringent enough even before yesterday’s announcement.
Politically, the PCs are now tied with the Ontario Liberals and while Mr. Ford’s personal numbers remain above water, they are moving downward. We will wait to see whether yesterday’s new restrictions ease the public’s anxiety or add fuel to their growing frustration with the Premier and his government’s handling of the pandemic.
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The survey was conducted with 817 Ontario residents from April 9 to 15, 2021. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.
The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.
The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Onatio’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.