Ontario election: NDP overtakes Liberals as the ‘Anti-Ford’ party, according to Ipsos poll

Kathleen Wynne, Doug Ford and Andrea Horwath are seen in a combination photo. Images via The Canadian Press

NDP’s Andrea Horwath is jumping ahead of Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals one week into the 2018 Ontario Election.

According to an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News, the NDP is gaining ground with 35 per cent of respondents saying they would vote for Horwath’s party – that’s up six points from last week’s polling. The Liberals would only garner 22 per cent, down four per cent from last week.

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But Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives are still ahead, with 40 per cent of respondents saying they would vote PC if an election were held tomorrow. That number is unchanged from last week.

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Only three per cent say they would vote for other parties (including the Green Party).

“Normally you would expect the NDP not to be a factor in that the fight would be between the Liberals and the Conservatives,” pollster Darrel Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, explained.

Bricker also explained that the Tories have some key ridings – in the seat-heavy 905 region, they are winning by 20 percentage points. In that region 49 per cent of respondents say they’d vote PC, 29 per cent said they’d vote NDP and 20 per cent said they’d vote Liberal.

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In Toronto’s 416 region, the NDP have the stronger lead – with 38 per cent of respondents saying they’d vote orange. Another 34 per cent say they’d vote PC, while 26 per cent picked Liberal.

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Outside the GTA, the Liberals aren’t faring any better.

In Southwestern and Northern Ontario, the NDP have the lead with 41 per cent and 47 per cent of the vote respectively, while Tories are number two with 35 per cent and 27 per cent. The Liberals have only 18 per cent of the vote in the Southwestern, and 25 per cent in the Northern regions.

In Central, the Tories have the lead with 41 per cent of the vote, with the NDP as a close second with 39 per cent. The Liberals are far behind with 20 per cent of the vote.

Eastern Ontario is the only region in which the Liberals aren’t in third place – they’re in second with 26 per cent of respondents saying they’d vote red. But they’re still 23 points behind the Tories who have 49 per cent of the vote. The NDP is third with 18 per cent.

Bricker says it’s been a steep fall across the province for Wynne’s party.

“The Liberals have fallen pretty precipitously everywhere not just in one place and everywhere. So this is becoming a race between these conservatives and the NDP,” he explained.

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The reason why? More people are rallying behind Horwath as the party leader to beat Doug Ford.

“With the rising belief that the NDP is the better option to stop Ford, the anti-Ford vote is coalescing behind the Horwath banner,” a press release from Ipsos reads.

The poll showed that Liberals and NDP are more willing to shift their vote – 40 per cent of NDP votes and only 31 per cent of Liberal voters said they are absolutely certain of their choice. That’s low compared to Conservative voters, where 56 per cent of Tory voters said they’re confident in their vote.

“All the movement is happening among the two of the parties,” Bricker explained. “So it’s progressive voters trying to decide what the best way to stop Doug Ford is.”

This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 1,000 Ontarians conducted between May 11 and 14, 2018. 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 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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