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Ontario election 2018 poll: Doug Ford gains an advantage

Paul Wells: As the Ontario campaign enters its home stretch, Ford’s PCs appear to be solidifying their hold in key 905-area ridings

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A new poll, with results as of June 4, is available here.

A new day’s sample on a rolling tracking poll won’t show much change, but the latest addition to the Maclean’s-Pollara Ontario election poll suggests the Progressive Conservatives might have the edge in the campaign’s home stretch.

The mixed sample—telephone and online—of 1,275 eligible voters was conducted from May 31 to June 3, with Sunday’s sample being added as last Wednesday’s sample was removed. Pollara Strategic Insights found barely any change in the top-line numbers since yesterday’s release: the PCs inch up a point from 37 to 38 per cent of decided voters, while the NDP and Liberals hold steady at 37 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

But smaller regional sub-samples, with correspondingly higher margins of error, suggest the Conservatives are entrenching their advantage in some key regions. In the key 905 suburban area code around Toronto, the PC lead grew four points in a day: they now stand at 44 per cent to 31 per cent for the NDP. In central Ontario, the PC lead grew to five points, 40 per cent to 35 per cent for the NDP.

It’s not all bad news for the NDP. The party increases its lead in Southwestern Ontario, where the party now stands at 47 per cent to 40 per cent for the PCs.

Pollara found no major change in the Liberal vote on Sunday, a day after the party’s leader, Kathleen Wynne, announced she has concluded she won’t be premier after Thursday’s vote.

A note on methodology

This document features the second wave of results of Pollara Strategic Insight’s final week tracking survey for the Ontario Election, which involves daily polling updates based on the most recent 4 days of mixed-mode survey interviewing.

This is the first update, based upon a mixed-mode sample of N=1,275 adult Ontarians who self-identified as eligible to vote in the Ontario Election. The survey was conducted from May 31 to June 3, 2018. Of the 1,275 surveys conducted:

682 were conducted via a live-interviewer CATI telephone survey approach.

593 were conducted via an online survey approach, among verified members of a research panel.

Because the sample for this survey included both probability (telephone) and non-probability (online) samples, a margin of error cannot be applied to it. The online sample is not probability-based because respondents self-selected for participation in a verified research panel. Sample surveys and polls of all types may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error. If the entire N=1,275 sample were conducted among a probability sample, it would carry a margin of error of ± 2.7%, 19 times out of 20.

As it is probability sample, the telephone portion of the sample (n=682) carries a margin of error of ± 3.75%, 19 times out of 20.

The data are statistically weighted to ensure the regional composition province-wide and within region to ensure age and gender composition reflects that of the Ontario adult eligible population using information from the 2016 Census and accounting for older Ontarians’ increased propensity to vote based on an analysis of Ontario’s election performance relative to federal elections. Based upon our analysis, the composition of the electorate over the age of 55 would range between 43 and 48 per cent.

In this report, results are expressed as percentages unless otherwise noted. Results may not add to 100% due to rounding or multiple responses. Net results cited in the text may not exactly match individual results shown in the charts due to rounding.