When it comes to managing the economy, a new poll suggests voters trust Ontario's Progressive Conservatives slightly more than the reigning Liberal party.

A recent Nanos Research poll for CTV, the Globe and Mail and CP24 suggests 30.2 per cent of respondents considered Tory Leader Tim Hudak best-equipped to juggle issues such as debt, taxes and job creation.

Respondents put Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty at 26.1 per cent confidence and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath at 17.8 per cent.

Though the numbers suggest voters trust Hudak more with fiscal matters, he and McGuinty are within the margin of error between each other. The poll's margin of error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.

With the Oct. 6 election less than a week away, the Nanos poll shows that the Liberals and Conservatives remain in a virtual dead heat — even when it comes to specific issues like the economy.

But when asked to identify an important economic priority, the poll's 600 respondents revealed a more clear-cut answer.

Job creation emerged as Ontario's most important economic priority to voters, with 44.8 per cent of respondents selecting it as a pressing issue.

The number suggests McGuinty may be wise in making job creation a highlight of his election platform. The Liberal leader has vowed to create 50,000 new jobs in the clean energy industry and start an economic development fund to create new employment opportunities.

Other economic priorities included:

  • Controlling taxes (26.3 per cent)

  • Managing debt/deficit (18.8 per cent)

  • Promoting innovation (7.4 per cent)

Both the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives have pledged to balance Ontario's budget by the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Hudak has pledged to do this while not raising taxes or establishing any new ones, putting his promise in a formal letter to the Electoral Officer of Ontario.