Wynne's approval rating has dropped to record-low: poll
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne talks to media at her first press conference after the announcement of a cabinet shuffle at Queen's Park in Toronto, on Monday, June 13 , 2016. (The Canadian Press/Eduardo Lima)
Chris Fox, CTV Toronto
Published Friday, October 21, 2016 9:08AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 21, 2016 1:20PM EDT
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s approval rating has hit a new low, according to a poll by Forum Research.
The poll of 1,124 Ontario residents found that just 14 per cent of respondents approve of the job that Wynne is doing as premier while 77 per cent disapprove and 9 per cent have no opinion.
Wynne’s approval rating is down from 16 per cent in September and is now lower than any approval rating that Forum Research has recorded for a sitting premier.
The other leaders at Queen’s Park, however, did not fare much better.
The poll found that 27 per cent of respondents approve of the job that PC Leader Patrick Brown is doing as leader of the Official Opposition while 24 per cent disapprove and 49 per cent have no opinion.
Meanwhile, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had an approval rating of 36 per cent, though 24 per cent said they disapproved of the job she is doing. An additional 39 per cent said they had no opinion.
“The problem here is that none of the three parties has an especially popular leader,” Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff said in a press release. “None is the choice of more than about half of their own partisans as premier. Kathleen Wynne has her own troubles, but neither Patrick Brown nor Andrea Horwath can get their approvals higher than about a third. Patrick Brown, because he’s not well known, or hasn’t projected a consistent message. Andrea Horwath because she just isn’t that well liked; better than the other leaders, certainly, but not on the scale of the Prime Minister, or even the mayor of Toronto.”
Wynne had a somewhat higher approval rating among Toronto voters (21 per cent) and those elsewhere in the GTA (16 per cent) but she was particularly unpopular among voters in both Northern Ontario (9 per cent approval rating) and Southwestern Ontario (11 per cent).
Wynne also tended to do better among female voters (17 per cent) than male voters (12 per cent).
“It really is hard times for the liberals,” Bozinoff told CP24 on Friday afternoon. “The previous premier McGuinty was not that popular either but he never got down to 14 per cent so it is kind of a new low in Ontario.”
About 4 in 10 Ontarians would vote for Tories
The Forum Research poll found that if an election was held today 43 per cent of Ontarians would vote for the Progressive Conservative party while 24 per cent would vote NDP and 23 per cent would vote Liberal.
If those numbers are projected into seats, it would mean that the Tories would form a majority government with 72 while the NDP would take over as Official Opposition with 24. The Liberals would be relegated to third-party status with just 11 seats.
It should be noted that much could be change between now and election day, though.
In fact, the poll found that a plurality of respondents (49 per cent) don’t even expect Wynne to be Liberal leader by then. About 27 per cent of respondents said they did expect Wynne to lead the Liberals into the next election.
Tory supporters were most likely to say that Wynne would not remain as Liberal leader in 2018 (53 per cent) though a significant number of NDP supporters (51 per cent) and Liberal supporters (42 per cent) also agreed.
Looking ahead to 2018, Bozinoff said Wynne and the Liberals will have a steep hill to climb.
“The Liberals have been in power for 13 years, so they have been in office for a long, long time. They really need to find their way and the lower they go and the shorter the time is until the next election the steeper the climb out will be,” he said.
The poll is considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.