Ontario Northern Uprising election remains a mystery — “close race” still the only deep truth ????

Jun 8th, 2014 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

Kathleen Wynne in Ottawa South, May 7, 2014.

With a mere four (or three?) days to the ultimate moment of truth, two articles from this weekend’s Globe and Mail may or may not summarize the current state of the campaigning art in Ontario’s current  democratic consultation with the regional people.

The first is “‘Desperate’ rivals left to stir up trouble, Wynne says” by Colin Perkel.  According to Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne, Perkel reports : “As [Conservative leader] Tim Hudak becomes desperate, he and his people say things that they know are not true … They want to stir up controversy and they want to make sure that we don’t focus on what he’s going to do.” Perkel goes on : “The Tory leader doesn’t want to talk about his plan because it would mean ‘either firing some of the people in the room or firing their neighbours,’ Wynne said in reference to Hudak’s pledge to cut 100,000 public sector jobs.” Moreover : “Like Hudak, Wynne said, [New Democrat leader Andrea] Horwath has no plan of her own so she’s looking for dirt …. ‘People who don’t have a plan, or who have a plan that is either flawed or they’re afraid to talk about, all they can do then is resort to controversy or slinging mud.’”

Premier Kathleen Wynne with Liberal MPP Mitzi Hunter (r) at the 2013 Caribana in Toronto.

The second Globe article is Adam Radwanski’s “Hudak won debate but Liberals make inroads with NDP.” Radwanski is reporting here on a recent survey undertaken “by Innovative Research Group as part of its ‘Listening Post’ project for The Globe and Mail.”  The Group has just conducted “an online survey of 1,100 eligible voters in the two days after the June 3 TV debate …  And Greg Lyle, Innovative Research president, came away believing that despite Ms. Wynne’s tentative performance, her party may actually have benefited most …  ‘It’s clear that Tim Hudak won the battle,’ Mr. Lyle says. ‘However, the Liberals made some key gains in the broader war.’” More exactly, in the “two days after the debate, a remarkable 46% of all self-identified New Democrats in the survey agreed that, while they like Ms. Horwath, they’re worried that voting for her party would help the Tories. And 29% agreed (half of them strongly) that while the Liberals have problems, they are still the best party to form government.”

Kathleen Wynne in Sarnia, in Southwestern Ontario, during her 2013 Liberal leadership campaign.

Meanwhile, the latest “Ipsos Reid survey for CTV News, conducted after the party leaders’ June 3 televised debate, shows the Tim Hudak-led PCs and Kathleen Wynne-led Liberals each with 35% of the vote among the province’s decided voters … The NDP, led by Andrea Horwath, has increased their numbers… but they still trail at 26%.” According to the latest Forum Research poll, taken on June 5, “the Liberals lead with 39% to 37% for the Conservatives while Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats are at 17% and Mike Schreiner’s Greens are at 6%.”

Who do so-called “likely voters” really favour (and/or does anyone really care) ?

Kathleen Wynne with her Minister of Rural Affairs Jeff Leal at Mannholme Farms in Selywn, in Mr. Leal’s Peterborough riding.

Meanwhile again, as we write the always interesting Eric Grenier’s latest bulletin on his poll aggregation exercises is dated Friday, June 6. It does not deal with the latest Ipsos or Forum polls, but does report on the EKOS rolling poll of June 3–5. This EKOS poll,  in round numbers, put Conservatives 35%, Liberals 34%, and NDP 21%.  When just so-called likely voters are considered, EKOS found the Liberals at 40%, the Conservatives at 36%, and the NDP 17%. And this is interesting (amazing?, amusing? appalling? etc) because the latest Ipsos Reid poll noted above broke down so-called likely voters as Conservatives 40%, Liberals 32%, and NDP 24%. (Mmmmmmm, quite contradictory results here — yet again!)

Kathleen Wynne with First Nations women in Northern Ontario, September 2013.

On the other hand, somewhat like the Innovative Research Group above, Eric Grenier’s latest report on June 6 ends with: “In other parts of the province, it is perhaps easier to envision more populist NDPers swinging over to the PCs, but in downtown Toronto it seems more likely that NDPers fearful of a PC victory are going over to the Liberals, replacing those disgruntled Liberals who are swinging over to the PCs. With the NDP polling so low in Toronto, the chances of a Liberal majority are significantly increased. Something to monitor.”

Finally, we who have the great misfortune of having to live in the Big Smoke on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario have noted that the Globe and Mail has endorsed the Hudak Conservatives, while the Toronto Star has endorsed the Wynne Liberals.

Toronto Deputy (and Acting) Mayor Norm Kelly has endorsed Kathleen Wynne and her party for the 2014 Ontario election.

(And note too that in our next posting we counterweights editors will be gratuitously and no doubt vainly and pointlessly making our own mini-endorsement of someone or something for the June 12 Ontario election. If you are at all familiar with even only a few of our current election reports, you won’t have much trouble predicting who we might endorse. But we’re not going to actually confirm anything just yet. Oh and btw on the somewhat wild and crazy revival of the gas plants issue and all that, we especially like a comment from an [?alleged?] ordinary voter on the CBC website only a short while ago : “Seriously, I’m ready to tear my hair out….Hudak and Horvath would not have done anything different in regards to the gas plants! They both pledged to drop them, and would have lost the same $$$. So please, let’s stop pretending Wynne is the fall guy, and act like intelligent adults who know how these things work.”)

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