June 3, 2014 11:55 am

Ontario election: Liberals, Tories in tight race heading into debate

WATCH: Wynne, Hudak and Horwath will drop the gloves tonight in the Leaders’ debate which you can watch live on Global Toronto and GlobalNews.ca

TORONTO – As Kathleen Wynne, Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath prepare for the Ontario leaders’ debate, an aggregation of recent polls shows a virtual tie between the Liberals and the Conservatives.

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The aggregation was conducted by the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy using opinion polls from May 20 to 29 and surveying roughly 5,000 Ontario voters.

The projection gives the Liberals 45 seats – three more than the Progressive Conservatives.  The NDP trail with 20 seats – three more than they won in the 2011 election.

In Depth: Ontario Election 2014

But two recent polls, by EKOS and Abacus Data, suggest a Liberal lead heading into the debate. The May 31 poll by Abacus Data suggests the Liberals lead with 37 per cent support to the Tories 30 per cent. The NDP trailed with 24.

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And the June 1 EKOS poll also suggests a Liberal lead of 38.5 per cent support to the Tories 33.7 per cent (NDP trailed far behind with 16.9 per cent).

The three candidates will be intent on differentiating themselves from each other during Tuesday’s debate – there’s still a large chunk of voters left to convince.

A June 2 poll indicated roughly 41 per cent of voters have already decided which party will get their vote. But 38 per cent of voters said they will decide who to vote for after the debate.

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