According to recent data from an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News, 46 per cent of NDP voters intend to vote for the party to stop the Liberals or the Ontario Progressive Conservatives from winning.
“All eyes are on Andrea Horwath right now because her support is the most tenuous,” said Ipsos’ Sean Simpson. “There’ll be more scrutiny paid to Ms. Horwath during the campaign.”
Sixty-four per cent of Ontarians responded that they’re voting for a particular party because they prefer it over all the others, though Ipsos’ Darrell Bricker commented that the number of voters casting ballots to strategically oust another party is “extremely high” during this election.
Simpson agrees that these figures show a large portion of the population “voting against something rather than voting for something.”
A slim majority of NDP voters, 54 per cent, claimed to be voting for the party because they prefer the party. Among PC voters, 64 per cent of respondents said they’re voting for the party because they prefer it over the others, while 36 per cent want to stop another party from winning.
Liberal voters on the other hand, while still maintaining the lowest support, have the highest percentage of voters (at 74 per cent) supporting them because they genuinely like their policies, while 26 per cent want to stop another party from forming a government.
When it comes to strategic voting, Bricker said, “This is some of the highest levels of that I’ve seen of any election I’ve covered in the last 30 years.”
“This election’s been quite volatile,” explained Simpson. “Only 31 per cent of NDP voters are absolutely certain of their vote choice,” Simpson explained, and added that the NDP are likely to be the second-choice party for almost everyone (37 per cent of PC voters and 58 per cent of Liberal voters).
Support for Kathleen Wynne remains at a stagnant 22 per cent, whereas support for Doug Ford shrank another two percentage points at 31 per cent. Horwath, who remains solidly in the lead when it comes to popularity, has slowed in her momentum this week, losing two percentage points and rounding out at 46 per cent.
WATCH: NDP’s Horwath catches up to PC’s Ford, Liberals lag in Ont. election
Both Bricker and Simpson suggested that of the three parties, support for the NDP has been the most volatile throughout the campaign, partly because Horwath has less of a presence with voters than the other candidates.
“There’s not any Andrea Mania going on,” Bricker said. Simpson added, “Everyone is asking themselves whether she and the NDP have peaked too early.”
Of those surveyed, Conservative voters are most likely to say they’re absolutely certain of their vote choice (with 66 per cent being certain), while only 38 per cent of Liberal voters responded that they’re certain of their vote. NDP voters were the least certain of their votes, with just 30 per cent confirming that they’re absolutely sure of their choice.
In addition, Conservative and NDP voters are far more likely to vote on election day, while Liberal voters are slightly less likely to cast a ballot at all.
All in all, both Bricker and Simpson agreed that there are only two things that are virtually certain about this campaign; the first is that the Liberals are not gaining traction with voters, and may very well be stuck with their current levels of support; the second is that this campaign is still, and will continue to be about change.
“The only thing that hasn’t changed is the desire for change,” Simpson concluded.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 18 to 21, 2018, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Ontarians eligible to vote and aged 18+ from Ipsos’ online panel was interviewed online, supplemented by river-based sampling. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Ontarian adults been polled.