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Tim Hudak and PC Party poised to win majority, says poll

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Tim Hudak and PC Party poised to win majority, says poll
A poll released on Sunday, suggests that Tim Hudak’s PC Party is well positioned to form a majority government in the October 6th provincial election. The Forum Research Inc. poll says that the Conservatives have 41% of support amongst decided voters and their highest support is in Eastern Ontario where their number is 50%.
PHOTO CREDIT - 1310 News

Cornwall - Jun. 27, 2011 - A poll released on Sunday, suggests that Tim Hudak’s PC Party is well positioned to form a majority government in the October 6th provincial election.

The Forum Research Inc. poll says that the Conservatives have 41% of support amongst decided voters and their highest support is in Eastern Ontario where their number is 50%. Based on the findings, Conservatives stand to gain 39 seats, the Liberal hopes continue to lie in Toronto and the NDP are making major inroads.

“Based on these results, it’s clear the strong Conservative support we saw across Ontario in the recent federal election, and for Rob Ford in Toronto’s mayoral race, are the new norm - Tory economic and social policies are becoming increasingly popular with Ontarians. It’s still early, but the Liberal party faces a definite uphill battle to win the next election,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research

In a recent Forum Research poll of eligible voters in Ontario, it was found that if an election was held today, the majority of decided or leaning voters would back the Progressive Conservative party (41%), followed by Liberal (26%), NDP (22%), and Green (8%), with 2% indicating they would vote for another party. These findings held true through most of the province with the exception of Toronto’s 416 area code, where the Conservative and Liberal parties are neck and neck (33%, 31%), and in Eastern Ontario where the Conservative party would receive half the vote (50%; compared to 25% Liberal, 16% NDP, 8% Green).

Support for the Conservative party was higher among those voters over the age of 35 (younger than 25: 27%; 25-34: 35%; 35-44: 43%; 45-54: 45%; 55-64: 46%; 65+: 45%) and among male voters (45%; compared to 38% of female voters).

Liberals bracing for major losses in Toronto
These voting intention results, if they held on Election Day, would likely yield approximately 65 Tory seats, 23 Liberal seats, and 19 NDP seats. When compared to 2007 provincial election results, the Conservative party would gain 39 seats, the NDP 9, and the Liberal party would stand to lose 48 seats with the lion’s share being lost in Toronto (27 total; 16 in the 905, 11 in the 416). These results will change as voting intentions change and are subject to the usual margins of error.

Hudak seen as best fit for premier
The recent poll also asked voters who they thought would make the best premier of Ontario with the majority indicating Tim Hudak would be the best fit (38%), followed by Dalton McGuinty (30%), Andrea Horwath (22%), and Mike Schreiner (9%). These findings were consistent throughout the province with the exception of Toronto, where McGuinty and Hudak were in a statistical dead heat in the 416 area code (36%, 34%). In addition, it was found that support for Hudak was higher among those voters over the age of 35 (younger than 25: 26%; 25-34: 29%; 35-44: 40%; 45-54: 41%; 55-64: 44%; 65+: 41%). Male voters were also significantly more likely than female voters to think Hudak would make the best premier of Ontario (42%; compared to 34%).

Large majority disapproves of McGuinty’s performance
Voters were also asked if they approve or disapprove of the job Dalton McGuinty is doing as premier of Ontario. Just under two?thirds of those polled indicated they disapprove of his performance (64%). This rating held true throughout the province with the exception of the 416 area code, where voters were significantly more likely than those living elsewhere in Ontario to approve of the job McGuinty is doing as premier (44%). The poll also found that female voters were significantly more likely than male voters to approve of the job McGuinty is doing as premier (38%; compared to 34%).

NDP’s Horwath ranks high in leadership approval ratings
The poll also touched on party leader approval ratings for both Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath. Voters were more likely to approve of the job Andrea Horwath has done as Leader of the NDP party in Ontario when compared to the job Tim Hudak has done as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party (59%; compared to 53%). Those living in the 416 area code were significantly less likely to approve of the job Hudak is doing when compared to those in the 905 (45%; compared to 58%).

Hudak’s proposed tax and social policies prove popular
Voters were also asked if they approved or disapproved of a bevy of issues facing the province of Ontario. Approval was highest for issues relating to taxation such as removing the HST on hydro and home heating bills (86%), allowing couples to average their total income in order to reduce their income taxes (83%), and reducing income taxes for those with family incomes under $75,000 (79%). Approval was moderate for some more controversial issues such as banning newcomers to Ontario from receiving welfare until they have lived in the province for at least 1 year (73%), and having prisoners collect litter from parks and highways (70%).

Ontarians lukewarm on hydro proposals
Issues relating to hydro billing received the lowest approval rating such as ending mandatory time of use pricing for hydro bills (63%), and reducing the amount of wind and solar generated electricity in order to reduce hydro bills (54%).

Methodology
The poll was conducted by Forum Research with the results based on an interactive voice response telephone survey of 3,198 randomly selected Ontario residents aged 18 or older that are eligible to vote in the province of Ontario. The poll was conducted from June 21st - June 22nd, 2011. Results based on the total sample are considered accurate +/- 1.7%, 19 times out of 20. Subsample and regional results will be less accurate.


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