A new poll shows that the Progressive Conservatives maintain their lead over the other parties nearly a week into the campaign, but the Liberals appear to be gaining ground in terms of their leader’s appeal.
While 29 percent of Nanos Research respondents chose PC Leader Doug Ford as their preferred candidate for premier, 24.1 percent chose Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, 20.3% chose NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and 4% chose Green Leader Mike Schreiner.
That’s more than a seven-point gain for Del Duca, who sat at 17 per cent support when the last survey was conducted on May 2. Since then Ford dropped nearly one point and Horwath dropped 2.5 points.
“The Ford Progressive Conservatives continue to have an advantage over the Del Duca Liberals,” Nanos Research Chief Data Scientist Nik Nanos said in a statement. “On the preferred Premier measure Ford is ahead but Del Duca has registered a positive increase after the first week of the campaign.”
Among decided voters, support for the PC party dropped slightly from a week ago from 36.9 per cent to 35.4 per cent, according to the survey. Support for the Liberal and NDP parties remained steady at 30.4 per cent and 23.7 per cent respectively. Green Party support slid slightly from 4.3 per cent to 4.2 per cent.
Among decided voters in the GTA, the Progressive Conservatives (35 per cent) and the Liberals (35.2 per cent) are neck and neck, while in the rest of Ontario the PCs (35.9 per cent) enjoy a sizeable lead over the Liberals (24.6 per cent) as well as the NDP (28.9 per cent).
Speaking further with CP24 Monday, Nanos said the improved numbers around Del Duca could possibly be a bellwether for his party’s fortunes.
“So he’s up a full seven percentage points in the first week, probably because he’s new, didn’t make any mistakes and it looks like at least for the first week, his brand has been the big the big winner,” Nanos said. “The support for the Liberals remains flat but this movement for Del Duca is the thing to watch because it could be indicative of future movement that favors the Liberals.”
The poll also found a yawning gap between men and women when asked which party they would consider voting for.
Among decided male voters, 40.9 per cent said they would vote for the PCs, while 24.2 per cent said they would vote Liberal and 22.2 per cent said they would vote NDP.
Among decided female voters, 36.8 per cent said they would vote Liberal, while 29.7 per cent said they would vote PC, and 25.3 per cent said they would vote NDP.
Nanos said that points to a “significant gender disagreement” when it comes to who Ontarians would vote for at this particular point in in the campaign.