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article imageOp-Ed: Progressive Conservatives have big lead in Ontario election polls

By Ken Hanly     May 14, 2018 in Politics
Toronto - The Canadian Broadcasting System has a useful poll-tracker that continually updates polling averages for the main parties in the Ontario provincial election that is to take place this June 7.
The CBC poll-tracker
The results are updated to May 12th using the average of a number of polls.
The Progressive Conservatives(PC) have 41.5 percent of decided voters. The New Democratic Party(NDP) has 27.1 percent. The Liberals(Lib) who now have a majority government come in third with just 24.9 percent of the vote. The Green Party has 5.1 percent of the votes but have no seats and are not predicted to win any.
As for seat predictions, the PCs may win 90 seats. The NDP is to win 27 seats, while the Liberals will win just 7 even though their vote percentage is not that much lower than the NDP.
The PC party has held a substantial lead for months now with little change up or down since Doug Ford became leader of the party. Ford is a populist type, the brother of the controversial former mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. As described in a recent Digital Journal article his campaign resembles that of Donald Trump.
The PCs now lead in every region of the province including the major city of Toronto. The NDP seems to have some momentum as they just recently passed the Liberals in the popular vote. They appear likely to form the opposition as they are predicted so far to gain many more seats than the Liberals. The PCs appear quite likely to win a majority government. The poll-tracker gives them a 90.8 percent chance of forming a majority. Of course there is a long time between and June 7th so perhaps that can change.
The left is split between Liberals and the NDP whereas the right is unified behind the PC's for the most part. Quite often NDP supporters vote for the Liberals come election time to keep the Conservatives out. However, the Liberals are so unpopular this time around that votes could go in the opposite direction to the NDP. Already, the NDP has a larger popular vote and seems to be destined to win many more seats.
READ MORE: How do Ontario's parties stack up on the environment?
The Ipsos Public Affairs poll
This recent poll goes beyond asking how one would vote and reveals that many voters are deeply dissatisfied with the present situation and feel that their politicians are cheating them.
Almost 75 percent of Ontarians polled agree that the economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful. Almost two-thirds claim it is hard for them to get ahead. 68 percent claim that they are frustrated that traditional political parties do not really care about them. Another two-thirds think the mainstream media are more concerned with making money than telling the truth.
The report also finds: "To combat these feelings, Ontarians want a strong leader who can take the country back from the rich and powerful (81%) and a leader who is willing to break the rules (53%), says the report, prepared for Global News."
Given these feelings it is not surprising that Ford's PCs with his populist rhetoric are leading the race so far by far. This is happening even though the Ontario economy is doing reasonably well with one of the lower unemployment rates in the country at 5.6 percent.
Ipsos vice-preside Sean Simpson said: "There's a frustration that things aren't as good as they were 10 years ago..A lot of people think things are changing too quickly and they're being left behind."
The leaders of major parties did not fare well in the poll. Asked which leader was someone you could trust, just 12 percent chose Kathleen Wynne the Liberal leader while 16 percent chose Doug Ford leader of the PCs. 30 percent chose Andrea Horwath the NDP leader. However, the winner was none of the above at 42 percent. Three of four of those polled said that they wished there were different leaders to chose from.
The poll was of 1,197 Ontario voters and was conducted between May 4 and 7 both online and by telephone.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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