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Ontario NDP and PCs still tied in polls — but here’s why the PCs are projected to win

Ontario party leaders rely on fear factor with 3 days until election.

The Ontario NDP and Progressive Conservatives appear locked in a tie when it comes to where they stand in public opinion ahead of the Ontario election.

But when it comes to how those voter intentions break down on a riding level, Ontarians appear likely to wake up to a Premier Doug Ford come Friday morning.

READ MORE: Conservative seat lead narrows as Liberals sink, seat projections show

That’s according to an aggregation of polls done by Abacus, Pollara, Ekos, Forum and Research Co., since May 31 and released Monday morning by the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP), a research centre at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Those polls surveyed 8,000 respondents.

Taken together, the results appear to indicate that while the NDP and Progressive Conservatives are both expected to take 37 per cent of the provincial vote, the way those votes are divided among ridings will lead to a majority win for Ford.

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“The PC vote is more efficient in a sense that while they’re not competitive everywhere, they’re competitive in most of the province,” said Barry Kay, who works with LISPOP and is an associate professor of political science at Laurier.

“The NDP vote is not nearly as competitive.”

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What that boils down to, Kay said, is that while Andrea Horwath‘s NDP will likely win by large margins in regions such as Northern Ontario, Hamilton and Windsor, the party lacks the broad base of the Progressive Conservatives in vote-rich regions of the rest of the province.

READ MORE: When, where and how to vote in the Ontario election

While the Progressive Conservatives appear likely to win such ridings by slimmer margins, that won’t matter.

The win alone will be enough to put them in majority territory.

“That’s why it comes out that way,” he said.

Those projections also suggest the Liberals will win just five seats.

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The aggregation did not include any polling numbers taken since Saturday, when Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne effectively conceded the election.

It is not clear at this point if or how that announcement could influence voter intentions as the race narrows into its final days.

Kay said further aggregation of results could still take place in the coming days if more polls are conducted but cautioned he doubts there will be much change.

The provincial election is June 7.

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