Just one month before the Ontario election, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath remain relatively unknown to the public, a new poll suggests.

When asked to use one word to describe Hudak or Horwath, 43 per cent and 55.9 per cent of respondents, respectively, could not do so.

In contrast, only 22 per cent of respondents could not describe Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty, according to the latest poll by Nanos Research for CTV and The Globe and Mail.

"The brands for both Andrea Horwath and, to a lesser extent, Tim Hudak are undefined," pollster Nik Nanos told CTV News.

"It speaks to the importance of defining themselves over the course of the campaign. There's a lot of work to be done for both of these parties and leaders to introduce themselves and convey a personal brand."

Nanos says the Liberals still have an opportunity to define their opponents.

After eight years as premier, McGuinty is widely known but the words used to describe him were more negative than positive.

When asked to describe the Liberal leader, 32 per cent of respondents' answers fell under "incompetent, awful" or "untrustworthy, corrupt."

Another five per cent of respondents described him as "tax and spend" which has been the focus of the Progressive Conservative attack ads.

But the most common answer to describe McGuinty fell under the "charismatic, good" category at 19 per cent.

Words used to describe Tim Hudak:

  • Untrustworthy/corrupt – 11 per cent
  • Charismatic/good – 11 per cent
  • Incompetent/awful/inexperienced – 10 per cent
  • Absent/does not listen – six per cent
  • Trustworthy/dependable – five per cent

Words used to describe Andrea Horwath:

  • Charismatic/good – 15 per cent
  • Trustworthy/dependable – seven per cent
  • Incompetent/awful/inexperienced – six per cent
  • Ok/alright – five per cent
  • Socialist – three per cent

Poll methodology: Between August 30th and September 1st, 2011, Nanos Research conducted a random telephone survey of 1,005 Ontarians 18 years and older. A random telephone survey of 1,005 Ontarians is accurate plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.