New polls suggest Ontario election could be more interesting than we thought?

Jan 22nd, 2022 | By | Category: In Brief
Untitled by Michael Seward, January 2022.

ONTARIO TONITE. RANDALL WHITE, FERNWOOD PARK, TORONTO, 22 JANUARY 2022. [UPDATED JANUARY 24]. With the June 2, 2022 Ontario election almost within eyesight pollsters have been getting restless. Five different polls have recently appeared, nicely summarized on January 20 by the excellent Polling Canada @CanadianPolling.

The short message of the five polls taken together is that this may prove a more interesting Ontario election than has so far seemed likely.

Three of the polls (Abacus Data, EKOS, and Mainstreet) present what might be called the still- mainstream view. Premier Ford’s Ontario PCs are ahead with anywhere from 32% to 37% of the projected vote, while the progressive (majority) vote is more or less equally divided between Liberals and New Democrats.

On the far left are results of the last 2018 election, followed by early 2022 polls from Abacus Data, Angus Reid, EKOS, Innovative, and Mainstreet. Tks to Polling Canada.

Two other recent polls, however, at least hint at some more interesting new prospects. One (Angus Reid) has Andrea Horwath’s NDP ahead with 36% of the projected vote. The other (Innovative Research) has Steven Del Duca’s Ontario Liberals ahead with 36% of the vote.

The most interesting (if also destabilizing) prospect on the still-mainstream view is that the Ford PCs will win the single largest share of the vote, but only the largest minority of seats in the Legislative Assembly — and thus a minority government with what continues to look like a very short probable life.

Fernwood Park, January 17, 2022.

Yet if there is any serious chance that either the Liberals or New Democrats could win the largest minority of seats in the legislature, there are at least prospects for a minority government with some staying power. It could be inspired, very loosely, say, by the model of the 1985 Liberal-NDP Accord, that finally ended the long odyssey of the 1943–1985 Progressive Conservative dynasty in Ontario politics.

Of course, it is still very early days yet. Three out of five recent polls still tell the mainstream story of at least an Ontario PC June 2 minority government. Like many others, no doubt, I would be happier if the cards did hold out some more interesting prospects. And I have never been able to altogether separate what I’d like to see in politics from what I think (hope) will happen.

Now, if only Angus Reid and Innovative Research didn’t have some quite different readings of just which of the Liberals or New Democrats will finally have the largest minority of seats in the legislature, when all the votes on June 2 are duly counted!

UPDATE JANUARY 24 : Phillipe Fournier at has just updated his latest Ontario poll aggregations as of January 23, 2022. Like the three out of five polls following the still mainstream model noted above his weighted averages have the Ford PCs ahead with 35% of the province-wide vote, while the Liberals and New Democrats each have 27%, and the Greens 5%.

The accompanying projection of seats in the Legislative Assembly gives the PCs 59 seats, the Liberals 34, the NDP 30, and the Greens 1. This would leave Premier Ford with only a minority government — four seats shy of the 63 seats required for the barest majority in the present legislature. And this is down somewhat from the bare majority of 64 seats in M. Fournier’s December 23, 2021 Ontario poll aggregations. Stay tuned. It’s still more than four months until June 2, and a week is a long time in politics.

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