Three-quarters of voters in the Ontario election say they wish there were different party leaders to vote for in the upcoming June election, according to a recent Ipsos poll.
The poll, conducted exclusively for Global News, found that 74 per cent of voters across all parties wish there was another option other than Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne, PC Leader Doug Ford and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
Out of all the leaders, 38 per cent of respondents said they thought Horwath would be the best premier, edging out Ford (37 per cent) and soundly beating Wynne (19 per cent).
The poll also looked at likability of the possible premiers: Horwath again came out ahead with 40 per cent of respondents saying they have a favourable impression of her. Only 33 per cent said the same of Ford, and 20 per cent said the same of Wynne.
WATCH: ‘This is really a change election’: Ipsos’ Darrell Bricker on PC versus Liberal saga
Pollster Darrell Bricker said while Horwath has an advantage on the favourability front, it’s more “neutral” since the other two have fairly high negative favourability.
“Andrea Horwath comes up better because she’s less disagreeable, not because she’s so much more likeable,” Bricker explained.
The poll also asked questions on who was best described by certain traits, and Horwath came out on top in the most categories (seven of them) including “fight for the middle class,” “help improve health care,” “values best represent my own,” and “has the right temperament and maturity to be premier.”
Ford won six categories including “get things done,” “tackle Ontario’s deficit,” and “sort out the hydro situation.”
VIDEO: Kathleen Wynne responds to exclusive Global News poll
Wynne didn’t win any categories and there were another six where respondents didn’t have faith in any leader. The “none of these leaders” option won categories including “deal with the traffic gridlock,” “someone you can trust” and “you’d like to have beer or coffee with.”
It also must be pointed out that no leader had more than 40 per cent of the vote in any category.
Despite favourability ratings, Ford still comes out on top of the polls as of May 8. In a previous Ipsos poll, Ford was set to receive 40 per cent of the vote, while would receive Horwath only 29 per cent.
Bricker said that shows that Ford’s likeability rating isn’t the reason people are voting for the PCs.
“It also underscores the fact that the reason that people are voting for the Conservatives is not that they’re enamoured with Doug Ford, the reasons they’re voting for the Conservatives is they are even more upset with Kathleen Wynne,” Bricker said.
“So it’s not like he’s, you know, this idea that there’s a Ford Nation out there that is rallying to his cause, it’s really not that, they’re rallying against the Liberal leader.”
To that point, the poll found that 64 per cent of respondents say the election is about making sure Wynne and the Liberals are not elected.
In contrast, another 50 per cent of respondents said the election is about “keeping Doug Ford and the PCs out of office.”
Gender and favourability
Men had a more favourable opinion of Doug Ford: while his overall rating was 33 per cent, only 24 per cent of female respondents found him favourable, compared to 43 per cent of male respondents.
For Kathleen Wynne, gender didn’t seem to play into the results as much; 19.8 per cent of male respondents and 21.2 per cent of female respondents found her favourable. (That’s only a difference of 1.4 percentage points.)
Andrea Horwath’s numbers did differ by gender, but not as much as Ford’s. While 43 per cent of female respondents favoured her, 36 per cent of male respondents did too. That’s a seven-point swing compared to Ford’s 19 points.
With more debates and campaigning ahead, Bricker said Wynne has the biggest job to do with voters.
“Clearly, Kathleen Wynne is going to have to convince people she’s not the person that they think she is,” Bricker said.
For Ford, Bricker said he should stick to what he did at the first leaders’ debate: “Which was not say anything that’s super embarrassing that will cause people to truly run away from him and not to announce anything that sounds, you know, out of the mainstream in terms of policy.”
And for NDP leader Horwath, Bricker says she needs to move the needle up from neutral to like.
This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 789 Ontarians conducted between May 4 and 7, 2018. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Ontario 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 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.