February 22, 2018 7:00 am
Updated: February 22, 2018 2:08 pm

Ontarians trust PCs with key election issues: Ipsos poll

Ontario PC leadership candidate Caroline Mulroney speaks to reporters in Ottawa on Feb. 9, 2018.


The top issues on Ontarians’ minds as an upcoming election looms are health care, the economy and lowering taxes and energy costs, according to a new poll.

And respondents think the Progressive Conservative Party is the best party to tackle most of those issues, according to the Ipsos poll, which was conducted exclusively for Global News.

READ MORE: Ontario PCs still ahead in provincial election despite rocky month: Ipsos poll

Health care is again the top issue for the upcoming June provincial election with 40 per cent of respondents singling it out.

The economy and jobs came in second at 35 per cent, closely followed by lower taxes with 34 per cent of respondents saying that was the most important issue.

Lower energy costs rounded out the top four at 29 per cent.

WATCH: Patrick Brown cleared to run for Ontario PC Party leadership

When asked which party (and leader) was best to deal with each issue, the NDP came out on top when it comes to health care.

But a majority of Ontarians said the PCs are best suited to deal with issues of the economy and jobs, lower taxes and address energy costs.

They’re also seen as the leader in the issue of integrity in government and its leaders.

That’s despite a tumultuous month that saw former leader Patrick Brown step down after sexual misconduct allegations.

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That’s bad news for the Liberals, who led on fringe issues like marijuana and student aid.

“It is no good if you are leading on things that are of no consequence,” Sean Simpson, Ipsos Canada’s VP of public affairs told Global News.

“If you know there is an issue to lead on, find a way to make it more relevant and if you can’t do that then [the Conservatives] will walk to victory.”

It’s the same for the NDP, who aside from health care, only are seen as best to deal with issues like social assistance, which are seen as less important by the respondents of the poll.

“The reason the Tories are doing as well as they’re doing is because they’re talking about the issues that matter most to Ontarians and which will drive Ontarians’ vote.”

Many respondents don’t see a difference between the parties

When asked which party is best suited to deal with the issues, there was a significant amount of respondents that said there was no best party, because all parties were the same.

On health care, for example, 25 per cent of respondents said the NDP was best suited, while 23 and 20 per cent of respondents said the PCs and the Liberals were, respectively. But a whopping 29 per cent said any party would be OK.

WATCH: Does the government need to spend more on social services and less on health care?

“What can a party do that is really different?” Simpson explained. “You can spend a lot of time talking about health care and how you are going to tackle wait times and have more doctors in the system. Every other party is probably going to agree with you making it very difficult for you to differentiate yourself.”

He said there are opportunities in other issues for the parties to distinguish themselves.

“For example, if you look at minimum wage, we know that is a popular policy for the government and is one of the reasons why Premier Wynne is trying to talk about it.”

READ MORE: Lost jobs, cut hours, no paid breaks. Do minimum wage hikes hurt workers?

Still many changes to come

There’s a lot of time left before the election, Simpson said.

He said that with the leadership election coming for the Tories, all the spotlight is on them right now.

“Once the Tories get that sorted out and we have more attention being paid to the Liberals and the NDP, look to see some announcements coming out on what the parties are going to do about some of these key issues that are driving the vote in Ontario,” he explained.

Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.”

This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 802 Ontarians conducted between Feb. 15-19. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 4.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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