Ontario PCs hold lead while NDP and Liberals battle it out ahead of 2022 election: poll

According to the poll, 38% of respondents plan to vote for the Conservatives — which is four points higher than in November — 28% for the NDP and 25% for the Liberals

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The Ontario Progressive Conservatives are holding onto a lead with just more than six months to go until the next provincial election, according to a new Postmedia-Leger poll.

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Meanwhile, the NDP and Liberal parties are stuck battling for second place as they try to sway undecided voters from each side.

According to the poll, 38 per cent of respondents plan to vote for the Conservatives, which is four points higher than in November. The NDP has overtaken the Liberals, with 28 per cent of respondents planning to vote for them, compared to the Liberals’ 25 per cent. Last month, the Liberal party was five points ahead of the NDP.

The Conservatives will be somewhat pleased with the rise in their vote, said Andrew Enns, executive vice-president at Leger. He said the party advertising and positive messaging that they put out in the late fall may have contributed to this. They will also be pleased to see the back and forth between the NDP and the Liberals, said Enns. If it continues, the Conservatives may see more seats go their way as voters are split between the two parties.

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According to the survey, 63 per cent of NDP voters and 60 per cent of Liberal voters may change their minds on who they are voting for. Only 47 per cent of Conservative voters responded this way.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little bit of a tussle between the Ontario NDP and the provincial Liberals as they buy for that coveted spot of being the alternative to the PC government,” said Enns.

The NDP was very competitive in the last election and took second place from the ruling Liberals, said Enns. But the Liberals bounced back and have benefited from branding from the federal election. According to this survey, the NDP has the most support in the Hamilton/Niagara area (39 per cent) and the Liberals in Metro Toronto (28 per cent).

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Of all the party leaders, Andrea Horwath is the only one that has a higher favourable impression (43 per cent) than unfavourable (41 per cent). Enns said that while these numbers are good, they do not always translate to votes.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca’s favourable impression is up, from 23 per cent to 27 per cent, which could be attributed to more awareness, said Enns. On the other hand, Conservative Leader Doug Ford, whose favourability suffered during the second wave of the pandemic, said Enns, is slowly recovering, and is sitting at 41 per cent, up one point from the November poll.

The online poll surveyed 1,000 Canadians over the age of 18 between Dec. 10 and 13 through Leger’s online panel. A comparable probability survey of this size has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent.

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