NDP's Andrea Horwath top challenger to Doug Ford in Ontario election: poll

A new poll suggests the outcome of Ontario’s election will come down to which leader, rather than which party, can win voters’ confidence — with Andrea Horwath the top challenger to Doug Ford.

An online poll conducted this month by the research firm Leger shows a quarter of participants believe the Progressive Conservative leader would make the best premier, while 20 per cent think it’s the NDP leader and 12 per cent chose the Liberal leader and current premier, Kathleen Wynne.

Doug Ford promises to cut hydro rates, save average ratepayer $173 a year

At the same time, when asked whether Ford and Horwath have what it takes to lead the province, more people said Horwath did — 35 per cent to Ford’s 30.

And Horwath rated higher than both her rivals on characteristics such as competence, trustworthiness, and alignment with the core values of Ontario’s population.

Voter dislike for Kathleen Wynne means no need to fear progressive split: Andrea Horwath

When it comes to the parties, however, the poll shows the Tories still in the lead with support from 43 per cent of participants.

The New Democrats and the Liberals are tied at 26 per cent.

WATCH: NDP releases election platform

“At this point, I think it’s pretty much down to the leaders themselves, and certainly Mr. Ford in particular,” said Christian Bourque, Leger’s executive vice-president.

Ontario PCs significantly more popular with men than the other parties: poll

While a certain part of the population will vote Tory regardless, “all of these people that cannot say that yes, Mr. Ford has what it takes to be premier of Ontario, are the ones who may still switch,” he said.

“So it’s very much now about the leader and how statesman-like he will look over the course of the next few weeks and if he looks fit for the job. It think now it becomes a referendum on Doug Ford more than an election or not of the Conservatives.”

42 per cent of Ontarians say budget makes them less likely to vote Liberal: Ipsos poll

The results suggest a shift in the left as well, he said.

When asked whether a Ford, Wynne or Horwath government would be disastrous for the province, only a third of those polled said yes for the NDP leader, compared with 44 per cent for Ford and 59 per cent for Wynne.

WATCH: Doug Ford blames ‘mess’ he inherited from predecessor for having to appoint 11 candidates

“The majority of people feel that four more years of Wynne Liberals would be a disaster but nobody seems to mind an NDP government,” Bourque said.

“At first people were saying when this all started that ‘oh my god, the NDP could split the vote,’ but right now maybe it’s the Liberals that might split the left-of-centre vote,” he said.

Ontario PCs significantly more popular with men than the other parties: poll

More than 1,000 Ontario residents eligible to vote in the election participated in the survey, which was conducted from last Friday to Monday.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.

Ontario voters go to the polls June 7.

WATCH: Kathleen Wynne compares Doug Ford’s character to Donald Trump

© 2018 The Canadian Press

You May Also Like

Top Stories