Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

January 24, 2005 05:00 ET

GOVERNING LIBERALS (37%) HOLD EDGE OVER OPPOSITION PC'S (35%)

Half (50%) Think Government Has Ontario On The Right Track (Up 5 Points Since October) As Half (49%) Also Approve Of Job Government Is Doing Governing Ontario Attention: News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 24, 2005) - According to a new Ipsos-Reid/The Globe and Mail/CFTO/CFRB survey released today, Ontario's Liberals, led by Premier Dalton McGuinty, have an edge (37%) over new leader John Tory's Progressive Conservatives (35%) if an election were held in the province tomorrow. Both parties lead the NDP (18%) and the Green Party (9%).

And while the new PC leader, even without a seat yet in the Legislature, has managed to pick up two points since October 2004 and come within striking distance of the Liberals, Premier McGuinty can perhaps take some comfort that this poll also finds that half of Ontarians (50%) believe he has the province on the right track (up smartly by five points since October) and almost equally as many (49%) believe his government is governing well-especially as the government hits some turbulence dealing with the provinces doctors and hospitals.

While some might suggest that the voter intention numbers put the Liberals and Conservatives in a statistical tie, it is the latter two factors that would appear to give the Liberals the edge at the moment: Aas a majority government has usually been formed, historically, with numbers ranging from 38% and 45%, the current metrics suggest that the governing Liberals have a propensity among voters to grow their level of support. To keep these numbers in perspective, the results of this poll on all these dimensions are similar to where previous back-to-back majority Premier Mike Harris was in the election off-season. The next provincial election will be held in October 2007.

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/CFTO/The Globe and Mail/CFRB poll conducted from January 11th, 2005 to January 17th, 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 758 adult residents of Ontario was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Ontario been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

Liberals Hold Edge Over PC's…

The Liberals, led by Premier Dalton McGuinty have 37% of the decided vote (unchanged) while the Conservatives have gained 2 points since the last sounding in October, pushing them up to 35% of the decided vote support. The New Democratic Party attracts the support of 18% of the decided vote in Ontario (down 3 points), the Green Party attracts 9% of the decided vote (up 1 point), and "other" parties attract 1% of the decided vote.

· Support for the Liberals is highest in the GTA (42%), among women (40% vs. 35% men), among those living in urban centres (39% vs. 28% rural), and among those aged 18-34 (42% vs. 35% among those aged 35 and over).
· Support for the Progressive Conservatives is highest among those living in rural Ontario (47% vs. 32% urban), in Southwestern Ontario (42%), among those aged 35 and older (40% vs. 24% aged 18-34), and among men (40% vs. 30% women).
· Support for the New Democratic Party is highest in Northern Ontario (26%) and among younger Ontarians aged 18-34 (23% vs. 15% among Ontarians aged 35 and older).

And, Half (50%) Of Ontarians Think The Government Of Premier Dalton McGuinty Has Ontario On The Right Track, Up Smartly Since October…

Overall, 50% of Ontarians say that the Ontario provincial government of Premier Dalton McGuinty has Ontario on the "right track"- up 5 points from October when 45% said the same. Just over four-in-ten (43%) of Ontarians currently think the government has Ontario on the "wrong track"- down from 47% last sounding. The remaining 6% of Ontarians "don't know".

· There are no regional demographic differences in this question.
· Ontarians aged 18-34 are significantly more likely than those aged 34 and over to believe that this government has Ontario on the "right track" (58% vs. 47%).

Half (49%) Also Approve Of Job McGuinty Government Is Doing Governing Ontario…

Premier McGuinty's government also finds that half (49%, unchanged from October) of Ontarians say that they approve of the job the government is doing governing the province, while almost the same proportion (47% unchanged) disapprove. The remaining 4% indicate they "don't know".

· Approval of the government's performance is highest in the GTA (52%), Eastern Ontario (51%), Central Ontario (50%), followed by Northern Ontario (44%), and Southwestern Ontario (40%).
· Ontarians living in urban centers are more likely than those in rural areas to approve of the job the McGuinty government is doing governing Ontario (51% vs. 38%).
· Ontarians aged 18-34 are significantly more likely than those aged 35 and over to approve of the job the McGuinty government is doing governing Ontario (59% vs. 45%).
· Women are more likely than men to approve the job the McGuinty government is doing governing Ontario (52% vs. 46%).

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For more information on this news release, please contact:
John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

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