Health care still top issue, taxes gaining ground: poll
Web staff, cp24.com
Published Tuesday, September 6, 2011 6:25PM EDT
Health care continues to be the number one issue on the minds of Ontarians leading up to the Oct. 6 provincial election, but taxes are quickly becoming a major ballot box question as well, according to a new poll released by Nanos Research.
Conducted exclusively for CP24, CTV and the Globe and Mail, the poll asked people to list the provincial issue they are most concerned about. Health care was the number one choice with 26.4 per cent of the vote, followed by the economy at 16 per cent and taxes at 15 per cent. The issue of high taxes was the biggest gainer, showing a 10 per cent increase from August.
When it came to health care, 34 per cent of respondents listed the doctor shortage as their top issue. Emergency room wait times were second at 31 per cent while managing the cost of health care was third at 25 per cent. Only five per cent said user fees.
Despite being slightly behind in the polls, the survey's respondents (27.4 per cent) named Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty as their number one choice to address health-care issues. PC Leader Tim Hudak was picked as the second favourite with 21.6 per cent of support. Nearly 16 per cent (15.9) of respondents chose NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and about 0.7 per cent of them chose Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner as the best leader to deal with health care.
In this category, Torontonians are clear in who they think would be best to deal with the health-care issue. Forty-three per cent of respondents who live in Toronto chose McGuinty while only 16 per cent of local residents picked Hudak.
The poll surveyed 1,005 random Ontarians between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 and is accurate to within 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
It is being released in five parts. The first three parts of the survey were released Monday and early Tuesday.
Tories still ahead
The Nanos poll released Monday shows the Tories still in the lead with 35.4 per cent, followed by the Liberals with 31.9 per cent and the NDP at 22.8 per cent. The Green party finished fourth with 4.1 per cent.
In terms of personal popularity, Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty finished first with 29.7 per cent of respondents saying he would make the best premier. Hudak received 24.7 per cent support while NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had 14.6 per cent and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner had 2.8 per cent.
In the Nanos poll released Tuesday morning, respondednts described each of the three major party leaders in one word. Tim Hudak was described as untrustworthy/corrupt by 11 per cent while another 10.8 per cent described him as charismatic/good and 10.3 per cent described him as incompetent/awful/inexperienced. Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty was equally divisive. He was described as charismatic/good by 18.6 per cent of respondents, but was described as incompetent/awful by 16.7 per cent and untrustworthy/corrupt by 15 per cent. Horwath, meanwhile, had the lowest percentage of negative responses, but the highest number of respondents who hadn't yet formed an opinion about her. Fifteen per cent described her as charismatic/good while seven per cent described her as trustworthy/dependable and 6.3 per cent described her as incompetent/awful/inexperienced. Fifty six per cent said they were unsure about Horwath.
The month-long election campaign officially kicked off today.
For a more detailed look at the rest of the poll, check out the stories below