PCs would win next Ontario election despite voters’ dislike of Doug Ford, poll finds

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In a Forum Poll survey of Ontario voters on Sunday, 48 per cent said they disapprove of the new Tory leader. But the poll indicated the party was still poised to win a majority in the next election.

Doug Ford has been named leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives. The former Toronto city councillor says the other leadership candidates will play a “critical role” if the party forms government after the June election. (The Canadian Press)

It seems that Ontarians are not so much accepting Doug Ford and his leadership as they are rejecting the other alternatives,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research.

While the PCs have a shot at winning the June 7 election, they didn’t get a “bounce,” or uptick in support, as traditionally happens with a leadership result, Bozinoff said.

Doug Ford speaks after being named the winner of the Ontario PC leadership contest on Saturday. A poll conducted Sunday showed Ford is a “divisive figure” among voters, said Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff.
Doug Ford speaks after being named the winner of the Ontario PC leadership contest on Saturday. A poll conducted Sunday showed Ford is a “divisive figure” among voters, said Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff.   (CHRIS YOUNGTHE CANADIAN PRESS)

“If it hadn’t been such an awkward ending, they would have gotten a bounce in the polls,” he said, referring to a tumultuous leadership contest and a heated ballot dispute at the party convention Saturday.

The PCs are actually down five points from the Forum Poll’s last survey, conducted in mid-February, just after former leader Patrick Brown announced he’d be joining the race to reclaim his old job, Bozinoff said. (Brown later dropped out of the race.) Then, 49 per cent of Ontario voters said they’d vote Conservative.

The PCs need to secure 40 per cent of votes to win a majority, and they should be concerned about having Ford as their leader, Bozinoff said.

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