After trailing the Progressive Conservatives for most of the last year, the Ontario Liberals are much more competitive. Over the last two weeks the Liberals stand at 40%, to 29% for the Progressive Conservatives, 24% for the NDP, and 6% for the Green Party.
The survey also explored how voters felt about their choices on a range of issues. The results indicate that the Conservatives have an advantage on issues of spending and taxes, while the Liberals have an advantage on education, health and economic policy.
According to Harris Decima Senior Associate Bruce Anderson ”Before an election campaign starts, voting intention questions often feel more like we are polling ‘how mad are you at the government’, and then once a campaign starts, we are really measuring something closer to ‘do you want to change governments’. While the polls in recent months might have suggested that a change in government was likely, and that this is Mr. Hudak’s election to lose, these numbers suggest that all bets are off and the campaign will matter a lot.
The Liberals continue to face a very strong challenge from the Conservatives, but these numbers suggest that there is not a massive wave of anger and desire to change the governments, let alone a consensus about what alternative would be better. NDP voters would, if forced to choose, coalesce around the Liberals more than the Conservatives, at a two to one ratio.
The Conservatives would win a campaign where voters focused only on wasteful spending and taxes, but it’s far from clear at this point that these are the only issues this campaign will turn on. The economy, education and health
care will be prominent on the minds of many as well.”
This data was gathered through teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey. The data were gathered between August 25 and September 4, 2011 for 651 completes. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 3.8%, 19 times out of 20.