Fuelled by robust support in the exurbs, the Ontario PC’s are doing as well in Toronto or possibly better than they are in the rest of the province, a new poll suggests.
Among 1,541 randomly selected voters in the GTA on Wednesday, Forum Research found the PCs had 38 per cent support inside Toronto proper among decided and leaning voters, compared with 31 per cent for the Liberals and 25 per cent for the NDP, three per cent for the Greens and four per cent for other candidates.
In the 905 and the rest of Ontario, Forum found 37 per cent of decided and leaning voters support the PCs, 29 per cent support the Liberals and 26 per cent support the NDP.
The Greens and other parties garnered four per cent each.
“It does seem to suggest that the Tories are in a pretty good position across the province – it’s theirs to lose,” Forum President Lorne Bozinoff told CP24, calling the poll a “benchmark” as voters begin to tune in to the month-long campaign.
Both the NDP and Liberals are fighting to secure greater support in Toronto and the rest of the GTA, but this poll suggests the PCs are still competitive in large areas of Toronto.
In North York, Forum found the PCs are leading 44 per cent to 25 per cent over the Liberals, with 21 per cent for the NDP.
In Etobicoke, home of the Ford family, the PCs are leading 47 per cent to 35 per cent for the Liberals, with 11 per cent for the NDP.
And in Scarborough, the PCs are leading by 47 per cent over the Liberals with 32 per cent, with 17 per cent for the NDP.
Also in York, the PCs are leading the Liberals 41 to 35 per cent, with 20 per cent for the NDP.
Among all four boroughs, the PCs appeared to have an 11-point lead over the Liberals.
“They have to take the 416 to the extent that there are almost no Tories left,” Bozinoff said of the NDP and Liberals’ path to victory.
Meanwhile, Forum found the core of Toronto is an absolute toss-up between the Liberals and NDP, at 37 per cent apiece.
“It’s just the former City of Toronto that’s still a holdout,” Bozinoff said.
In East York, the NDP have 52 per cent support, to the Liberals with 22 per cent and the PCs with 20.
Based on Thursday’s results, Bozinoff says the Liberals could take nine seats they did not win in 2018, including Ajax, Eglinton-Lawrence, Milton, Oakville and Toronto – St. Paul’s.
Meanwhile, the PCs could take two seats from the NDP – Scarborough Southwest and York South – Weston.
Bozinoff said the fact the PCs are still in position to take new ground in Toronto, despite being an incumbent government with four years to turn off voters, shows they prepared themselves for the vote very well.
“Clearly the Tories have done their homework going into this, a lot of their stuff is working.”
The poll used interactive voice response and has a margin of error of +/- three per cent, 19 times out of 20.
The margin of error for the 416-only portion of the poll is 4.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20 while the margin of error for the GTA wide numbers is 2.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20 and the margin of error for the 905-specific numbers is 3.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
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