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Ontario Liberals losing votes to NDP, PCs in the lead: poll

Kathleen Wynne will meet with the OPP for an interview about the ongoing investigation into the role played by the Ontario Liberal Party in a recent byelection.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne delivers a speech at a symposium on Women Politics at University of Ottawa, Thursday, March 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Liberals would place third behind the NDP and Progressive Conservatives if an election were held today, according to a new poll.

A Forum Research survey conducted between March 23 to 26 indicates 34 per cent of voters would choose the PCs (a drop from 39 per cent last month), 29 per cent would support the Liberals and 27 per cent for the NDP.

Projected provincial legislature seat numbers show the PCs would form a minority government with 52 seats, 3 short of a majority.

The Forum poll suggests the New Democrats would claim 32 seats to form the new opposition and the Liberals would take just 23 seats.

“This no longer appears to be one bad poll for the Liberals, it appears to be part of a losing streak for them, and a gaining streak for the New Democrats, whose eulogy may have been said too hastily,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff in a media release.

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Wynne’s approval rating is also down from 36 per cent last month to 33 per cent while NDP Leader Andrea Horwath jumped from 37 per cent to 40 per cent.

Interim PC elder Jim Wilson has an approval rating of less than a quarter (22%).

The gas plant scandal continues to plague the Liberals with three-quarters of voters (73 per cent) aware of the issue compared to only half (50 per cent) for the recent Sudbury by-election scandal.

Conservative voters polled also said PC leadership hopeful Christine Elliott is best for the party with 35 per cent support followed by Monte McNaughton with 15 per cent and Patrick Brown at 11 per cent.

With Elliott at the helm, 36 per cent of those polled would vote for the PCs in the election while Brown would merely bring all three parties in a dead heat as would Monte McNaughton.

The Forum Research interactive telephone poll was conducted among 881 randomly selected Ontarians with a margin of +/- 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.