New Poll: Ontario Liberals Lose Support in Toronto, 905
By Susanna Kelley
The Ontario Liberals have lost considerable support in the two areas of the province that handed them their majority government in the last election: Toronto, and the so-called 905 belt of ridings around Canada's largest metropolitan city, according to a new poll by Environics Research Group.
Overall, Ontario's three parties are very close in total support across the province - the PCs are at 33 per cent, the Liberals are down seven points to 32 per cent and the NDP is at 27 per cent amongst decided voters. Seven per cent chose "Other."
But it is always the 905 and Toronto ridings that form the backbone of any electoral victory in Ontario. It was many of the region's ridings going Liberal that gave the party it's majority in June of last year and, and these areas that have been the base of its core voter support since 2003.
In the 905 area, the Progressive Conservatives now lead with the support of 37 per cent of voters, while the Liberals are at 31 per cent. The NDP are a close third at 27 per cent. Five per cent of those surveyed chose "Other."
In the city of Toronto, the NDP has bounced back up to the lead position, with 33 per cent of voters supporting them. The Liberals are at 30 per cent, the PCs 27 per cent. 10 per cent would support the "Other" option.
The NDP numbers may help heal internal party wounds stemming from the party's loss of three Toronto seats in the June 2014 campaign — stinging defeats for party stalwarts.
In Northern Ontario, the NDP are riding high at 45 per cent, the Liberals trail them at 28 and the PCs are a distant third at 16 per cent. A further 11 per cent chose "Other."
The Northern results may reflect the bruising Sudbury by-election scandal that the Liberals are wearing. Kathleen Wynne and two high profile Liberals are under investigation for what the OPP calls possible bribery - offering a job to a potential Liberal candidate in return for him dropping out of the race to carry the party banner. Wynne, instead, appointed a former Sudbury NDP MP, who won the seat.
In Eastern Ontario, the PCs lead with 40 per cent voter support, but the Liberals are close behind at 38 per cent. The NDP trails with 18 per cent, while three per cent chooses "Other."
In the province's Southwest, the PCs and Liberals are neck and neck at 33 per cent, while the NDP places third at 26 per cent. "Other" has the support of 9 per cent of decided voters.
Overall, 25 per cent of those surveyed across the province said they were undecided or would not vote, should an election be held today.
In other interesting data from the poll, Environics found that when it comes to the PCs, men make up a larger share of their supporters than females. In contrast, the NDP counts more women than men among their supporters. And equal numbers of men and women make up the Liberal contingent of decided voters.
Environics Research Group surveyed 989 Ontario residents using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology, calling both cellphones and landlines. The poll was taken March 24 and 25th. The margin of error for the 989 sample is plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.