When the 8,391 Ontarians polled were asked which of the party leaders they would most like to have over to their home for a barbecue, four in ten (37%) chose NDP Andrea Horwath, suggesting that Ontarians would like the opportunity to get to know her better. Fewer chose PC leader Tim Hudak (32%) or Liberal leader and current Premier Dalton McGuinty (31%).
Ms. Horwath appears to have momentum on her side. Since the election campaign officially started on September 7, one quarter (24%) of Ontarians say they have a more favourable view of Andrea Horwath, compared to just 7% who have a less favourable view, representing a net sore of +17.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath appears to be helping her party’s fortunes in the polls. In fact, if she wasn’t the leader of the NDP and somebody else were leader instead, two in ten (16%) say they’d be less likely to vote for the NDP, while just 8% would be more likely. In contrast, if Mr. Hudak weren’t leader of the PC party, one quarter (23%) say they’d be more likely to vote PC, while just 14% would be less likely. A similar story for Dalton McGuinty: one quarter (23%) would be more likely to vote Liberal if he weren’t leader, while 16% would be less likely to vote Grit.
Three quarters (74%) of Ontarians ‘agree’ (28% strongly/47% somewhat) that ‘Ontario is ready for a female Premier’, while just one quarter (26%) ‘disagree’ (6% strongly/19% somewhat) with this premise. Not surprisingly, women (78%) are more likely to agree than men (70%), and younger people are more likely to agree than older Ontarians.
There’s still ample time for impressions to change, however, and with the leader’s debate approaching many Ontarians will be tuning into the election more closely.
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