Majority of Ontarians want a change in government in 2018 election: Ipsos poll

In an Ipsos poll, 22 per cent said Wynne would make the best premier, down six points since polling conducted a year ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal party have an uphill battle against the Progressive Conservatives in next year’s provincial election, according to the results of a new Ipsos poll.

The poll, conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Global News, found that 24 per cent of Ontarians believe the current government has done a good job and should be elected again.

The remaining three quarters — 76 per cent — said Ontario is due for a shakeup at the legislature. The provincial election will be held on June 7, 2018.

Thirty-nine per cent of those polled said if the election were held today, they would vote for the PCs, while 32 per cent would support the Liberals and 22 per cent would support the New Democrats.

Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, said the Tories’ 12 point advantage over the Liberals in Toronto suburbs could help win them the election.

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“Based on their lead in the 905, the Tories are definitely knocking on the door of a majority,” he said.

“Given that not only the 905 has a lot of seats, but seats have been added to that region since the last election campaign, so it’s become even more crucial in determining whose going to win the election.”

LISTEN: Darrell Bricker of Ipsos joins Tasha Kheriddin on AM640

In fact, while the poll shows the Liberals are the most popular party in Toronto and northern Ontario, the PCs were in the lead in central, eastern and southwestern Ontario — in addition to the Toronto suburbs.

Despite the strong support shown for a change in government, opinion on the province’s outlook has become more positive compared with polling done a year ago.

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According to Ipsos, 44 per cent of respondents said the province was on the right track compared with 38 per cent in September 2016. Yet the majority, at 56 per cent, still said Ontario is headed in the wrong direction.

READ MORE: Kathleen Wynne is the least popular premier at home, and across Canada: poll

The Liberals have been in power in Ontario since 2003. Wynne, who was sworn in in 2013 to replace Dalton McGuinty, won a majority mandate the following year.

Ahead of the election next year, the Liberals have unveiled a raft of new policies including a proposed $15-dollar minimum wage, changes in real estate rules intended to cool the GTA market, and significant reductions in hydro bills.

The Liberals’ internal polling, published by The Canadian Press last month, showed that the party’s popularity has grown this year in spite of low personal popularity numbers for Wynne.

READ MORE: Ontario Liberals on upswing despite Kathleen Wynne’s unpopularity, government polling shows

In the Ipsos poll, 22 per cent said Wynne would make the best premier, down six points since polling conducted a year ago. Just six per cent of respondents said they strongly approve of the provincial government under her leadership.

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Of the three party leaders, the NDP’s Andrea Horwath came out on top in respondents’ minds, with 42 per cent support as premier. Patrick Brown, who will face his first general election as PC leader, received 36 per cent.

The Ipsos poll, based on responses from an online panel of 800 Ontario residents, was conducted between Sept. 8 and 11. The results were weighted to represent the province’s demographic makeup, and are considered accurate with plus or minus four percentage points, 19 times out 20.

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