Those considering – but not committed to – the PCPO would be more turned off by Doug Ford as leader
By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
March 8, 2018 – The chaos and scandal that have rocked the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario over the last six weeks appears to have done little damage to the party’s electoral fortunes, but a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute shows that could change, depending on the outcome of this weekend’s PC leadership vote.
Two of the people running to replace former leader Patrick Brown – Christine Elliott and Caroline Mulroney – seem well-positioned to maintain the party’s lead before the scheduled June election, but a third – Doug Ford – could send would-be Tory voters running for another party, or keep them on their couches come election day.
Ford is a polarizing figure, beloved by many in the party’s base, but strongly disliked by many outside it. While Ontarians overall are more likely to have a favourable than unfavourable view of Elliott and Mulroney, nearly twice as many have an unfavourable view of Ford (51%) as have a favourable one (27%).
This dynamic could extend to vote intention as well. Both Elliott and Mulroney would inspire more Ontarians to vote for the party than they would drive away, while Ford would discourage double the number he would encourage to support the Progressive Conservatives if he became leader (42% versus 19%, respectively).
More Key Findings:
- Fully half (50%) of decided and leaning voters say they plan to support the Progressive Conservatives in June, compared to 24 per cent who favour the governing Liberals and 22 per cent who would cast their ballots for the Ontario New Democratic Party
- Among those on the fence about supporting the PCPO, Ford’s influence is decidedly negative. Half (48%) of those who say they would “certainly consider” voting PC in the upcoming election say Ford would make them less likely to vote for the party
- Elliott and Mulroney fare better with those still making up their minds about whether to vote Progressive Conservative. Elliott is the candidate viewed most favourably by those ages 55 and older, while Mulroney is viewed most favourably by those ages 18-34.
Link to the poll here: www.angusreid.org/ontario-pc-elliott-mulroney-ford