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The Maclean’s-Pollara Ontario election poll shows Doug Ford and Andrea Horwath in photo finish

Paul Wells: With a day to go before Ontario votes, the NDP and PCs are all tied up with the Liberals trailing far behind

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They’re all tied up, 38-38-17. That’s how the major Ontario political parties stack up on the day before the final vote in a historic provincial election, according to the final instalment of a Pollara Strategic Insights tracking poll for Maclean’s.

Using the last three days of responses from a rolling mixed-method (online and telephone) survey of 906 eligible voters, Pollara found the Progressive Conservatives down one point from yesterday at 38 per cent, the NDP up a point at 38 per cent, and the Liberals holding steady at 17 per cent. The outcome now, Pollara Chief Strategist Don Guy told Maclean’s, will depend on regional dynamics and voter turnout.

In Ontario’s regions, the NDP has more regional advantages than they did at the start of the campaign, but the PCs seem still to have a strong regional hand. In Toronto, the NDP has opened up a slight lead, at 41 per cent to 35 per cent for the PCs, thanks to a late-inning decline in the Liberal vote to 19 per cent. But in the suburban 905 ridings around Toronto, the PCs have held onto a lead, closing at 43 per cent to 32 per cent for the NDP and 20 per cent for the Liberals.

MORE: Be informed when you vote with the most comprehensive Ontario election platform guide

In Southwestern Ontario the NDP has opened a solid lead, at 52 per cent to 38 per cent for the PCs, while the Liberal vote in the region has become almost unmeasurable at six per cent. But in Eastern Ontario the PCs have run up their best advantage of the campaign, at 44 per cent to 26 per cent for the NDP and 24 per cent for the Liberals.

Similar stories of compensating advantages appear in the poll’s demographic breakdown. Millennials prefer the NDP over the PCs, 44 per cent to 31 per cent. But seniors favour the PCs by the same margin, 44 per cent to 31 per cent, and seniors traditionally are likelier to vote. An NDP advantage among women respondents is offset by a PC lead among men.

A note on methodology

  • This Methodology & Data Disclosure Brief features the final survey results of Pollara Strategic Insights’ final week tracking survey for the Ontario Election, which involves daily polling updates based on a rolling sample of mixed-mode survey interviewing.  Previous waves were based on a roll-up sample of the most recent 4 days of surveys. This final poll is based on the most recent 3 days of surveys.
  • This is the final update, based upon a mixed-mode sample of N=906 adult Ontarians who self-identified as eligible to vote in the Ontario Election. The survey was conducted from June 3 to 5, 2018. Of the 906 surveys conducted:
    • 283 were conducted via a live-interviewer CATI telephone survey approach, with 26 per cent of the interviews being conducted via cellphone.
    • 623 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=906 sample were conducted among a probability sample, it would carry a margin of error of ± 3.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
    • As it is probability sample, the telephone portion of the sample (n=283) carries a margin of error of ± 5.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.