ONTARIO: PC lead evaporates as NDP momentum builds


WHO doesn’t love the May long weekend?. The barbeques are lighted up, garden centres are bustling with people buying plants for their gardens, and friends and family head out to explore the great outdoors. During an election, they can also act as key moments in a campaign. A time when friends and family discuss politics and the election sitting around the campfire, over a late Sunday brunch, or at the cottage for the first time. It’s a time when perceptions and assumptions can be either cemented or changed.

As Ontarians headed into their long weekend, we at Abacus were busy crunching the numbers of our latest survey. As with the previous wave, the numbers reported in this survey come from two separate sample sources.

That’s why the research team at Abacus Data, in partnership with our friends at Summa Strategies and Spark*Advocacy decided to approach our polling in this election differently. Yes, we will ask people how they plan to vote. But more important, we wanted to understand campaign dynamics better than pollsters usually do. We want to go beyond the horse race.

So we did something that’s rarely done in Canadian public polling, we designed and executed a panel study.

This way, we will be able to track the evolution of Ontarians’ minds in a way not typically done in publicly released election polling. It’s the way we approach our work with clients and part of Abacus Data’s record of innovation in our industry.

Here’s what our new polling data finds:

  1. The PC lead has all but disappeared with only one point separating the surging New Democrats and the PCs. The Liberals have fallen clearly into third place.
  2. The PCs still have structural advantages within the electorate that make them the favourites still if these numbers hold to election day.
  3. The NDP can win the election. They have the largest pool of accessible voters and momentum right now.


  1. I think that the pc structural advantage is seriously hampered by scandal – Ford and pc candidates have kept their distance from the media & the public – making it almost impossible to turn things around by June7. People are looking for a change – the change Ford offers feels like ” out of the pan & into the fire” for the majority of undecideds. Don’t rule out the youth vote – many are realizing they do have a voice & power – seeing the example of the #me to movement. The Liberals have been pulling all their resources out of the riddings they know they have no chance of winning – retreating to their strong holds (advantace NDP).
    The NDP has gained the “MO” at the most perfect time in the campaign – this will engaged the electorate that doesn’t want Ford – many similarities between this election and the last federal election where the Liberals came from 3rd places to win their majority.

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