The Progressive Conservatives and Doug Ford are headed for another majority government, according to the latest update from The Signal, a poll aggregator created for the Star by Vox Pop Labs.
Just under a week into the Ontario election campaign, The Signal has the PCs with 36.2 per cent of the popular vote, followed by Steven Del Duca’s Liberals at 30.1 per cent and Andrea Horwarth and the NDP in third at 25.0 per cent. The Green Party, led by Mike Schreiner, is at 4.7 per cent.
Those percentages would translate to 64 seats for the PCs, 30 for the Liberals and 29 for the NDP, with one seat for the Green Party.
“If the election were held today, the PCs would lose a few seats from where they were in 2018, but we still see them capturing a majority government,” said Vox Pop CEO Clifton van der Linden, who’s also the director of the master of public policy program at McMaster University. “We saw a slight bump for the PCs out of the gate when the election was called … and then sort of a levelling off to the steady state levels that they’ve had throughout the last few months.”
In the 2018 election, the PCs won 76 seats. Horwath led the NDP to Official Opposition status with 40 seats, and Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals were reduced to seven seats, losing official party status. Schreiner won the riding of Guelph to give the Green Party its first seat in the Ontario legislature.
Thanks to retirements, byelections and ejections from caucus, the PCs were left with 67 seats when the 2022 campaign started. The NDP had 39 seats, the Liberals seven and the Green Party had one. There were six Independents, as well as the New Blue Party’s Belinda Karahalios and the Ontario Party’s Rick Nicholls.
The Signal takes publicly available opinion polls, then uses a model to weigh each one and calculate a projection of provincial vote share and seat totals in the legislature.
The current Signal prediction would be the thinnest of majorities; 63 seats are required for a majority in the 124-seat legislature.
But van der Linden says there’s still plenty of time for the numbers to move before the June 2 election.
“Is there room for movement? The answer is unequivocally yes,” said van der Linden, who pointed to the 2015 federal election as an example of a campaign in which voter support was far from static.
“The Liberals under Justin Trudeau started in third place, with (NDP leader Thomas) Mulcair leading at the beginning. (Stephen) Harper’s Conservatives rode the top for some period of time in the polls and then crashed again. So you can have real movement,” said van der Linden.
Not that he’s saying it will happen — just that it could.
“These figures for seat share should be interpreted with a grain of salt … There are an awful lot of ones that we think are toss-ups. So those get counted for one party or another in our overall seat share, but they could flip,” said van der Linden. “An aggregator is not a crystal ball.”
JOIN THE CONVERSATION