The survey, conducted by Ipsos exclusively for Global News, found that 45 per cent of respondents said they think the PCs will be re-elected on June 2.
One in three — 32 per cent — said they don’t know who will win the provincial election.
Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, told Global News that the polling shows there is a “real expectation among voters that regardless of how they vote, that the Ford Progressive Conservatives are going to win re-election.”
“Even people who are currently voting for the Liberal Party — about 14 per cent — or for the NDP about 10 per cent, still think that their parties aren’t going to win,” he said. “They’re there with them in spirit, but they don’t necessarily think that there’s going to be an effect on the outcome.”
The survey was conducted May 17-19 and found that six in ten (61 per cent) of Ontarians said they are “completely certain” they will vote on election day.
This marks a very slight increase over the 58 per cent of voters that turned out for the 2018 provincial election.
However, Bricker said he expects the actual turnout will be lower.
“My expectation is that it would be nice if we got something close to the last campaign, but the last campaign was much more uncertain,” Bricker said. “When campaigns matter or the outcome is more uncertain, then people tend to participate more.”
He said he expects the actual voter turnout on June 2 to be “a bit lower” than in 2018.
The poll found that 74 per cent of those who have declared their support for the Progressive Conservatives said they are certain to vote this time.
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Meanwhile, 71 per cent of NDP supporters, 65 per cent of Liberal supporters and 42 per cent of Green Party supporters said they are certain to vote on election day.
What’s more, 51 per cent of respondents who have decided who they will vote for said they are “absolutely certain” of their vote choice and won’t change their mind before election day.
Sixty-six per cent of PC voters said they are certain of their choice, while 51 per cent of Liberal voters, 36 per cent of NDP and 19 per cent of Green Party voters said the same.
The data also shows that the Liberals (20 per cent), NDP (19 per cent) and Green Party (17 per cent) are all “nearly equally favoured” as the province’s second-choice.
However, the survey found only 12 per cent would choose the PCs as their second choice.
Here’s a look at who party supporters would pick as their second choice:
- 18 per cent would choose NDP as their second choice
- 17 per cent would choose the Liberals as their second choice
- 14 per cent would vote for the Green Party as their second choice
- 20 per cent said they wouldn’t vote if they couldn’t vote for the PCs as their first choice
- 41 per cent would choose the NDP as their second choice
- 18 per cent would vote for the PCs as their second choice
- 12 per cent would vote for the Green Party as their second choice
- 10 per cent said they wouldn’t vote if they couldn’t vote for the Liberals as their first choice
- 42 per cent would choose the Liberals as their second choice
- 28 per cent would vote for the Green Party as their second choice
- 16 per cent would choose the PCs as their second choice
- 11 per cent said they wouldn’t vote if they couldn’t vote for the NDP as their first choice
- 22 per cent would choose the Liberals as their second choice
- 21 per cent would pick the NDP as their second choice
- 10 per cent said they would vote for the PCs as their second choice
- 21 per cent said they wouldn’t vote if they couldn’t vote for the Green Party as their first choice.
Thirty per cent of Ontarians said they agree that their primary goal on election day is to stop the PCs from winning.
A total of 57 per cent of those surveyed said they believe the Liberals have a better chance of defeating the Tories, while 43 per cent said the same of the NDP.
Among those who think the Liberals have the better chance, 43 per cent said they are voting for the Liberals.
Of those who think the NDP has a better chance of defeating the PCs, 42 per cent are voting for the NDP.
Bricker said in individual ridings, this could result in strategic voting at the polls.
“Maybe the Liberals and the NDP and the Greens will gang-up in order to elect a more progressive candidate and stop the Progressive Conservatives from winning in a specific riding,” he said. “But the problem with that strategy is it doesn’t really seem that anybody’s certain on the progressive side what the best choice is.”
Bricker said in most election cycles, the progressive primary “ends at some point.”
This time around, though, Bricker said the “progressive primary continues on.”
With only one week to go before Ontario voters head to the polls, Bricker said the parties are “going to have to demonstrate that they’re the ones that are most likely to be able to form the official opposition and really take on the Progressive Conservative Party.”
Bricker said things are “shaping up very well for the Progressive Conservatives.”
“Simply because the opposition parties are split all over the place and can’t consolidate in a way that really threatens the incumbent,” he said.
Bricker said “at the moment” Progressive voters are undecided.
“There seems to be a little bit more momentum among the Liberal Party supporters,” he said. “But, you know, incumbency is a powerful factor in election campaigns.”
He said “some of the most interesting races” likely to be seen in Ontario on June 2 are races where an NDP incumbent is facing a “strong Liberal challenger.”
“Those tend to be more downtown ridings, particularly in the City of Toronto, but also in places like Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Waterloo — some of the bigger centres around the province of Ontario.”
He said he expects races will be “pretty close in a lot of those ridings.”
METHODOLOGY: This Ipsos poll was conducted between May 17 and May 19 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 1501 Ontarians aged 18+ was interviewed online (1,001) and by telephone (500). Quotas and weighting were employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the population according to census information. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would be had all Ontarians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.