PCs lead by 11 over Ontario Liberals according to the latest Abacus Data poll.
January 29, 2024
Ontario’s political landscape, as of early 2024, presents an intriguing picture of continuity amidst subtle shifts. Yesterday, the Toronto Star reported on this poll that was shared exclusively with Robert Benzie.
The Progressive Conservative Party, led by Doug Ford, continues to hold the reins, but not without potential undercurrents of change. The Ontario Liberals and the New Democratic Party, in their pursuit of being the natural alternative to the PCS are carving distinct paths in this competitive space, influenced by regional allegiances and demographic divergences.
Electoral Prospects: The PCs, under Doug Ford’s leadership, would likely secure victory if a provincial election were held today, with 38% of the vote – a marginal decrease of 1% from December. The Ontario Liberals, now led by Bonnie Crombie, are second at 27% (unchanged from December), while the NDP, under Marit Stiles, trails closely at 23%. In short, stability.
Regional Dynamics: The PCs demonstrate a consistent lead across Ontario, though their margin narrows to 5 points in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, excluding Metro Toronto.
Demographic Trends: There is significant gender gap in vote intentions, with the PCs commanding a 21-point lead among men, and a virtual tie with the Liberals and NDP among women voters. Age-wise, the PCs enjoy robust support among those aged 45 and above, whereas they are on par with the NDP among the younger electorate (under 45).
Approval Ratings: The Ford government’s approval rating stands at 29%, marking a nominal dip since December, while the disapproval rate remains static at 48%. Doug Ford’s personal favorability is net negative (-19), in contrast to the mildly positive scores of Bonnie Crombie (+3) and Marit Stiles (+4).
Accessible Voter Pool Parity: The accessible voter pools for the PCs, NDP, and Liberals are remarkably similar, with the PCs and NDP each appealing to 48% of voters, and the Liberals slightly behind at 47%.
Undecided Voters: A substantial 23% of respondents are undecided, a figure notably higher than the 15% national average in our recent Canadian politics survey. This includes 15% of 2022 PC voters, highlighting a potential vulnerability for Ford’s party.
According to Abacus Data CEO David Coletto: “The PCs under Doug Ford hold a strong position in Ontario’s political landscape though it is laden with subtle complexities. With the opposition divided almost equally between the Liberals and NDP, the PCs find an advantage in this split. Yet, the Ford government’s tepid approval rating along with a notable group of former PC supporters now in doubt, poses a challenge to their long-term stability along with several issues still confronting the government.
This changing story, characterized by a high rate of undecided voters and similar voter pools across parties, shapes an evolving and dynamic scene for Ontario politics as we move through 2024.”
The survey was conducted with 955 eligible voters in Ontario adults from January 18 to 23, 2024. 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 +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.
The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Ontario’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.
Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/
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