Ontario’s three major parties neck and neck as Ford’s honeymoon period ends: Ipsos poll

Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes a keynote address at the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa on Saturday, March 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The Ontario Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and NDP are locked in a three way tie according to an exclusive Ipsos poll released Friday.

According to Ipsos, if an election were held tomorrow the Liberal party would receive 32 per cent of the popular vote, up 12 points from June 2018. The PCs would receive 30 per cent, down 11 points and the NDP would receive 29 per cent, down 5 points.

Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, said that this drop in popularity of the Ford government can partially be attributed to the reality of electing a government that’s so different from the previous one.

READ MORE: Premier Ford speaks to Global News, weighs in on taxes, program cuts, abortion and being booed

“They’re in a situation where they’re having to bring people up to speed on what the results of that change are going to be and they may not necessarily have bought into the same level as they bought into the concept of change,” said Bricker.

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“So this is what happens when governments get elected to deliver a message and not a mandate.”

The breakdown throughout the major regions of Ontario show the Liberal party is heavily favoured in the GTA with the PCs ahead in central and southwestern Ontario and the NDP ahead in eastern and northern Ontario.

Breaking down the results even further, 30 per cent approve of the performance of the current government under Premier Doug Ford.

On top of that, with the current cuts being implemented as part of Ford’s election mandate, 52 per cent of Ontarians continue to support the cuts to government spending.

WATCH: Premier Ford announces $7.35 million to encourage budget savings

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Premier Ford announces $7.35 million to encourage budget savings – May 21, 2019

Bricker said that while the honeymoon period may be over, it’s still early in the mandate and anything really can happen in the next three years to tip the balance again.

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“What they’ve got on their side is time,” said Bricker. “I mean, you know we’re coming into the one-year anniversary for their election. And they’ve got another three years to go. So you know usually what happens is if there’s going to be pain delivered to the public as a result of an election that usually happens early on and then things start to get better later on. That’s the hope.”

Programs that support arts and culture are at the top of the list of cuts Ontarians approve, with 50 per cent of those polled in favour. At the bottom of the list is health care with 32 per cent of Ontarians in favour.

Alternatively, 9 per cent are in favour of paying more taxes in place of government cuts with 6 per cent saying they’d be in favour of just adding to the province’s debt.

Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” This poll was conducted between May 17 to 21, 2019, with a sample of 1,000 adults living in Ontario polled. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Ontario adults been polled. 

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