TORONTO – Support for Ontario’s Liberals is crumbling in the former suburban areas of Toronto, according to a Mainstreet Research poll.
While the provincial Liberals command a 42% lead among decided and leaning voters in Toronto, support for them outside the downtown area is wavering.
“Yes, the overall lead is still there in the 416, but really it’s only a lead in the downtown core” at 57%, said Quito Maggi, president and CEO of Mainstreet Research.
According to the poll, support for the Liberals in Etobicoke is 32%, compared to 45% for the Progressive Conservatives.
Wynne’s Liberals are also running in third place in Scarborough, where it is essentially a three-way split between the Tories, NDP and Grits (33%, 31% and 29%, respectively). And in North York, the Liberals only lead over the Tories by a few points.
All this “is pointing to major losses in the 416 for Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals,” Maggi said.
Recent polls show the Liberals’ popularity has plummeted in Ontario. A previous Mainstreet poll in February showed only 18% of Ontarians thought Wynne was doing a good job.
If an election were held today, strong support in downtown Toronto ridings is “just not enough,” Maggi said.
Rising support for the NDP will likely “deliver more seats to the Progressive Conservatives” in three-way races in Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke, he added.
By contrast, the federal Liberals are enjoying strong support at 60% overall across the city. Among decided and leaning voters downtown, support for Justin Trudeau’s party is at 73%. The federal party commands the support of 53% of decided and leaning voters in Etobicoke and 56% in Scarborough at 56%.
The poll — conducted Feb. 21 — is based on a random sample of 2,103 Toronto residents and has a margin of error of 2.1%, 19 times out of 20.
Ottawa Sun by Maryam Shah
March 2nd 2017