With two months to go until the Ontario general election, the latest polls suggest that Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne is set to lose power, while Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford is on track to take over Queen’s Park. But can the Tories keep the momentum until June 7?
According to a myriad of recent polls, which have been aggregated by CBC’s new Poll Tracker, the Ontario PCs maintain 42.1 percent support, the grits are behind with 27.2 percent. Meanwhile, Andrew Horwath and the New Democrats sit in third with 23.4 percent, and the Green Party is last with 5.7 percent.
Could Ford and the PCs form a majority government? Some pollsters think it’s possible.
A Mainstreet Research poll discovered that Ford and the Tories are ahead with 50.3 percent support of deciding or leaning voters. This is far ahead of the 23.9 percent support for Wynne’s Liberals and the 18.3 percent support for Horwath’s New Democrats.
Last month, the incumbent government unveiled its new budget that extends billions of dollars worth of goodies to healthcare, education, transportation, and various other files. It also comes with a multi-billion-dollar budget deficit for six years, sending the province deeper into debt. But Ontario voters may be more fiscally aware than the government thinks as the grits can’t seem to find their way to the top of the polls.
“Our poll shows that the budget has so far not moved the needle in favour of the Liberals,” President and CEO of Mainstreet Research Quito Maggi said in a press release. “While it may give them a boost during the election when more voters are paying attention, there is no evidence that shows the budget has given the Wynne Liberals the shot in the arm that they badly need at this time.”
Since 2015, the PCs have been leading and have topped 47 of the last 49 provincial polls. Premier Wynne, however, has been traveling in the opposite direction. Not only is she not gaining any traction ahead of the 2018 election, Wynne is the most unpopular premier in the entire country.
There have been rumors that Wynne may strike a deal with Horwath to form a coalition government. So far, Wynne has denied those reports. Just like the people of Ontario have seen in previous elections, anything can happen in the world of politics – see 2011 and 2014. Ford may be ahead now, but once June arrives, it may be an entirely different story, particularly if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hits the campaign trail with Wynne.