Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

September 15, 2007 06:00 ET

Ontario Vote Essentially Stagnant After First Week

Key Issues Driving Ontarians to Ballot Box: Education / Faith-Based School Funding (43%), Health Care (41%), Taxes (19%) and the Environment (18%)

Attention: News Editor TORONTO/ON--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2007) - As the party leaders begin to criss-cross the province on their buses (or bikes) during the first week of the campaign trail, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted exclusively for CanWest News Service and Global Television finds that support for all of the parties has essentially remained the same since polling conducted in the week before the campaign got underway.

The latest poll, completed on Thursday night, has the Dalton McGuinty Liberals holding a lead of 40% support over John Tory's Progressive Conservatives at 37%, with Howard Hampton's NDP at 16% support, and the Frank de Jong's Green Party at 6% among decided voters. Six percent of voters remain undecided. Since Ipsos Reid's last poll, the Tories have gained 1 point, while the Liberals and NDP have each declined by one point. Support for the Green Party is unchanged.

With 107 seats in the Legislature, the seat model done exclusively by DemocraticSPACE for Ipsos Reid is currently projecting a slim Liberal majority (54 needed) of 56 seats government if the polling numbers were an actual vote percentage on Election Day, October 10, 2007.

Using an aggregate of five recently publicly released polls, including today's result, the model shows the McGuinty Liberals with a potential majority government with 56 seats (42 solid and 14 leaning), Tory's Progressive Conservatives with 39 seats (28 solid and 11 leaning) and Hampton's NDP with 12 seats (9 solid and 3 leaning). However, with just shy of a month ahead in the campaign, these numbers will likely change.

Asked to identify the primary issue that is motivating or could motivate them to go out and vote for or against a particular party or leader on election day-essentially what's driving voters so far in this campaign to the ballot box-four in ten (43%) identify education/faith-based school funding of the top three issues (for nearly one quarter (23%) of Ontarians it's the number one motivator), followed by healthcare (41%) as one of the top three campaign issues for them, with Taxes (19%) and the environment (18%) in a dead heat for the third issue (all issues identified were unaided, open-ended responses, allowing up to three with the primary identified separately)
Other primary issues identified included the economy/jobs/unemployment (11%), crime and justice (7%), honesty/integrity/trust (6%) social programs (4%), and transportation/public transit (3%).

A majority (51%) of Ontarians believe that it is 'time for another provincial political party to take over', however four in ten (40%) believe that 'McGuinty has done a good job and deserves to be re-elected'-instructive given that a mirrored 40% of the vote would likely yield, as noted above, a slim re-elected Liberal majority government.
These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted exclusively for CanWest News Service and Global Television from Sep 4 to September 13, 2007. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 800 adults living in Ontario was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population living in 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 that the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Ontarian population according to Census data.

In Vote-rich GTA…

In the Greater Toronto Area, the Liberals (40%) continue to have a slight lead over the Progressive Conservatives (38%), while the NDP (15%) and Green Party (7%) trail significantly. Voters in the GTA as a whole are generally unmoved in the past week with the Progressive Conservatives gaining only two points while the Liberals have declined by two points. The NDP dipped one point while the Green Party gained two points.

* Examining the 416 area code (Toronto proper) yields a slightly different picture. The Progressive Conservatives at 33% support (up 6 points since last week) have made up some ground on the Liberals at 39% support (down 5 points since last week). This shift represents the greatest change in the province. The NDP have dipped two points to 21% support in the past week while the Green Party has gained one point to 7% support.

* In the 905 the race between the two front runners is tighter: the Tories have declined by two points to 42% support while the Liberals (40%). NDP (10%) and Green Party (6%) have all held steady.

Outside of the GTA…

* Outside of the GTA the Liberal lead (40%) over the Conservatives (36%) has increased by just one point since last week. The NDP have the support of 17% of Ontarians outside of the GTA (a decline of one point) while the Green Party has 6% of Ontarians (a decline of one point).

* In Central Ontario the Liberals have regained the lead over the Conservatives. Dropping one point, the Tories are now at 39% support while the Liberals have surged 11 points to 44% support. This surge has been at the expense of the NDP which has dropped 9 points to 12% support, and the Green Party which has dropped two points to 5% support.

* In Eastern Ontario the Liberals have cooled off slightly dropping seven points to 42% support but still hold a lead over the Tories who have gained two points to sit at 37% support. The NDP has gained three points and is now at 14% support, while the Green Party is fairing slightly better (2 point gain) at 6% support.

* In South-western Ontario the Tories at 39% support (a gain of two points) have pulled ahead of the Liberals at 33% (decline of 5 points). The NDP have surged five points to 22% support, which appears to be at the expense of the Green Party which is now at 5% support in south-western Ontario (decline of 3 points).

* In Northern Ontario the Tories have dipped to just 20% (down 8 points) placing them behind both the Liberals at 42% (holding steady) and the NDP at 28% (gain of 3 points). Support for the Green Party has also increased by three points to 8%.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

For full tabular results, with charts, please visit our website at www.ipsos.ca.

News Releases are available at: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/

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