New Environics Poll: NDP Soars To First Place In Safe Ontario Liberal Ridings
On Eve Of Election Call
By Susanna Kelley
A recent Environics Research Group poll indicates that the Liberal Party could lose two of its safest federal Ontario seats to the NDP should an election be held now - a stunning result that comes just as an election may be launched as early as this weekend.
Thomas Mulcair's NDP appears to have jumped to be the first choice of voters, from it's third place result in the 2011 federal election, in ridings that encompass the city of Guelph and almost all of Kingston in the new poll of decided voters.
Both the ridings of Guelph and Kingston and The Islands have been held by the Liberals since the 1980s and are considered to be the kind of middle of the road seats that are key to winning Ontario - which, with its treasure trove of seats, is in itself the key battleground for all three parties in the federal election.
The new poll obtained by OntarioNewsWatch gives the NDP a 10-point lead of 38 per cent of decided voters in the riding of Guelph, with the Conservatives and Liberals trailing at 28 and 27 per cent respectively. The Green Party has seven per cent support.
The Liberals have had a stranglehold on Guelph since Bill Winegard won it for the Progressive Conservatives in 1988.
In the riding of Kingston and the Islands, the NDP is at 37 per cent, running neck and neck with the Liberal Party, which has the support of 36 per cent of decided voters. The Conservative Party is at 23 per cent, and the Greens stand at five per cent.
Kingston and the Islands has been held by the Liberals for more than 30 years. It was last won by a party other than the Grits in 1984, when the seat was held by Progressive Conservative Flora MacDonald.
The results, according to one seasoned observer, are consistent with other Ontario-wide polls taken recently and reflect similar results found in the province generally.
The polling on the federal race was part of a larger sampling to determine levels of support for the Ontario Liberal government's decision to privatize 60 per cent of Hydro One. The methodology involved an IVR poll of 597 residents in Guelph and 563 in the Kingston riding on Monday July 13 2015, with a margin of error of plus or minus four per cent, 19 times out of 20. The polling was done by Environics for the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
The poll also found that the Ontario Liberal Party led by Kathleen Wynne has dropped in support since the last election in the two ridings. For example, in Guelph, support for the provincial NDP has soared to 33 per cent - a gain of 15 points - while the Wynne Liberals have dropped to 25 per cent from the 41 per cent they won in the 2011 election. The PCs have come up 4 points to 28 per cent while the Greens are down 2 points to 14 per cent.
In Kingston and the Islands, the provincial Liberals have also dropped dramatically to 30 per cent from 46 in the last election, while the NDP is up 10 points to 38 per cent. The PCs have increased their support by five per cent to 23, and the Greens by 1 point to 8 per cent.
As for selling off Hydro One, 81 per cent are opposed to it in the Kingston riding, and 79 per cent of those polled were against the policy in Guelph.