According to the Mainstreet Research Ontario Daily Tracker, the Progressive Conservatives are enjoying a commanding lead in Hastings-Lennox and Addington just a week away from the Ontario provincial election.
According to the poll, Daryl Kramp’s PCs are polling at just below 58 per cent, with the second highest showing from the NDP, at just below 24 per cent.
Kramp was the federal Conservative MP for Prince Edward–Hastings from 2004 to 2015, but lost in the new federal riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington in 2015 to Liberal MP Mike Bossio, just one of the many upsets in the 2015 federal election’s red wave.
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“No doubt I was disappointed,” said the long-time politician about losing the election. “There were many things I had been working on that I wanted to bring to conclusion.”
When asked about why Kramp got back into politics after his federal loss, Kramp said he felt compelled.
“I was just getting so frustrated by the political disconnect. … I couldn’t just sit around so I got re-engaged.”
The new provincial riding was created in 2015 to mirror its federal counterpart, and was derived from parts of Prince Edward-Hastings, and the Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington ridings.
The two previous ridings went to PC candidates in the previous Ontario election, Prince Edward-Hastings to MPP Todd Smith in 2014 with just over 40 per cent and Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington to MPP Randy Hillier with just over 43 per cent.
What is notable this year, the amalgamation of parts of those ridings is now placing the NDPs second for the first time ever, with candidate Nate Smelle polling at 24 per cent, and the Liberals coming a distant third with 12.4 per cent.
In 2014, Liberals came second in both previous ridings, both with around 30 per cent of the final vote.
Smelle’s campaign manager Roberta Lamb says that although they are pleased with the bump to 24 from 20 per cent, she would be shocked if the PCs got close to 60 per cent in their riding.
“That’s not what we’re finding at the door,” Lamb said.
“People are coming to us and saying, ‘I’m tearing my hair out. I can’t vote for Ford. I can’t vote for Wynne,'” Lamb said. “Obviously, the NDP is the logical and sane choice.”
Lamb said that there are many people coming into the NDP’s offices claiming that they used to be Liberal or PC, but this year they would be voting NDP for the first time.
As for the poor showing by the Liberals, there was no comment from the candidate for the riding, Tim Rigby.
The Green Party is polling at 1.9 per cent in Hastings-Lennox and Addington, and first-time candidate Sari Watson says she’s happy to have the support she’s getting.
“I’m not surprised, it’a very conservative area,” said Watson. Nevertheless, Watson feels like a Green Party presence has been important.
“It’s nice to have the Green voice influence. It offers a good check to the other voices.”
According to the Mainstreet research poll, the option for another party was polling at just below four per cent.
For the Hastings-Lennox and Addington portion of this poll, Mainstreet contacted 620 people, with margin of error of +/- 3.92 per cent.
The entirety of the poll (including Hastings-Lennox and Addington and other ridings) is based on results of a rolling survey conducted over the past three days (May 28-30) among a sample of 2400 adults living in Ontario. A sample of approximately 800 is taken each day. The survey was conducted using automated telephone interviews (Smart IVR). Respondents were interviewed on landlines and cellular phones. The margin of error for the entire survey is +/- 1.95 per cent and is accurate 19 times out of 20.