Liberals with 9 points over PCs in Ontario; NDP lags

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Elliott tests best as PC leader

TORONTO AUGUST 22nd, 2014 – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1229 Ontario voters, 4-in-10 would vote Liberal if an election were held today (39%), and one third would vote PC (32%), and these results are almost the same as those obtained by the two parties in the recent election (39% and 31%, respectively).The NDP, on the other hand, has seen its vote share drop from one quarter at the election (24%) to one fifth today (19%). Close to a tenth now support the Green Party (8%), up from a twentieth at the election (5%), and few support any other party (2% now, 1% at the election).

Stronger majority for Liberals if seats projected

If these results were projected up to seats in a 107 seat Legislature, the Liberals would capture 61, up from 58 today, while the PCs would take 31, down from 37 today. The NDP would see their seat count decline from 17 today to 15.

Elliott with best trial heat results as PC leader

MPP Christine Elliott, widow of former federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, tests the best as a possible PC leader. With her name mentioned, the PCs take a one third vote share (33%) to just more than this for the Liberals (37%).

Next best in the trial heats is federal cabinet minister Lisa Raitt (PCs - 29%, Liberals - 39%), followed by dark horse candidate, federal MP Patrick Brown from Barrie (PCs - 28%, Liberals - 40%) and MPP Vic Fedeli (PCs - 28%, Liberals - 42%).

Potential candidates who do not test so well include MPP Lisa MacLeod (PCs - 26%, Liberals - 40%) and MPP Monte McNaughton (PCs - 26%, Liberals - 41%).

Wynne's favourables up sharply; Horwath bounces back

Close to one half approve of the job Kathleen Wynne is doing as Premier (46%) and this is up significantly from just after the election (July 3 - 41%) and from just before the election as well (June 9 - 36%). Her net favourable rating (approve minus disapprove) is +2, and improvement from -3 and -17 before that. Andrea Horwath has seen her approval bounce back to just more than a third (35%) from about a quarter right after the election (July 3 - 28%). Her net is up from -19 to -12. One quarter approve of the job Jim Wilson is doing as interim leader of the PCs (27%), one quarter do not (27%), so his net is 0.

Elliott with highest awareness and approval

Among the potential PC leadership candidates tested, Christine Elliott has both the highest awareness (53%) and approval (50%), and her net is a very positive +24. Lisa Raitt is next best known (48% awareness), but her approval is just one third (33%) and her net is a negative -10. More than 4-in-10 are aware of Lisa MacLeod (43%), and her approval is at the same level (41%), with a positive net favourable score of +7. Vic Fedeli (31% aware, 35% approve, net +1), Monte McNaughton (27% aware, 37% approve, net +2) and especially Patrick Brown (23% aware, 33% approve, net -10) are known to fewer than a third, and their approvals and nets are at a similar level.


Kathleen Wynne has consolidated her grip on public opinion since the election and has leveraged her victory to higher levels of approval. Christine Elliott, however, would present a formidable opponent to Premier Wynne in the legislature, and would invigorate her own party in a way that is sorely needed since the debacle suffered in the recent election.

We have identified Christine Elliott as the best leader for the PCs well before this, well before the election, as a matter of fact. These findings do not come as a surprise," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.