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article imagePoll: Ontario Liberals hold lead over Tim Hudak's Conservatives

By Andrew Moran     Mar 15, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Although Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty isn't the most popular premier in Canada, he has gained support in the province. This increased support comes five months following the contentious Ontario election.
Last summer, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals were expected to lose the provincial election to Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives because of the government’s many imposed taxes, scandals and growth in government. However, after attacks against the incumbent, Hudak was not able to win a minority government – it did gain extra seats, though.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak speaking during a press conference at the 2011 Aud...
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak speaking during a press conference at the 2011 Audio Video store on Eglinton Avenue East.
A new poll shows that McGuinty is gaining favourability among Ontario voters. According to the Nanos Research survey, the Liberal Party has 39.9 percent support compared to the PC Party’s 30 percent support. Andrea Horwath’s New Democratic Party sits in third place with nearly a quarter of the vote, which is an increase from October’s 16 percent support.
Meanwhile, Mike Schreiner’s Green Party still sits in single digits with 4.3 percent support.
Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath
Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath
Healthcare (28 percent) and the economy (22 percent) remain the most important issues facing Ontarians. Education (9.6 percent), debt/deficit (9.2 percent), high taxes (7.4 percent) and the environment (2.7 percent) are other top issues for the respondents.
It’s important to note that the report by economist Don Drummond, which urges Queen’s Park to make substantial cuts in order to curb the provincial budget, has actually helped the premier, at least according to pollster Nik Nanos.
“The Liberals are benefiting from the tough talk, but also the default position that if there are cuts, they will be done in a compassionate way,” said Nanos in an interview with the Globe and Mail. “For a government that really had to deal with increased spending on a number of different files, the fact that it sponsored the report has helped them in the short-term at least.”
Mike Schreiner  Green Party of Ontario Leader speaking at Queen s Park.
Mike Schreiner, Green Party of Ontario Leader speaking at Queen's Park.
McGuinty hasn’t officially responded to the Drummond Report, but as Digital Journal reported last month, the premier stated that the provincial budget will be a formal response to the important report.
The Ontario budget is scheduled to be presented to the Ontario Legislature on Mar. 27. The province faces a $16 billion deficit and many cuts are being warned in order to cut down the multi-billion dollar deficit.
The telephone poll was conducted with 500 Ontarians between Mar. 3 and Mar. 5. It contains a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points.
More about Dalton McGuinty, Tim hudak, progressive conservatives of ontario, liberal party of ontario, Nanos poll
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