Premier Kathleen Wynne continues to be hampered by woefully low approval ratings according to a new poll.
The Mainstreet Research poll sampled 2,524 Ontarians through an interactive phone poll to landlines and cellphones on Feb. 12.
It found that some 65 per cent of respondents strongly or somewhat disapprove of the way Wynne is handling her job as premier, compared to 18 per cent who strongly or somewhat approve of how she’s doing.
That compares with a high approval rating enjoyed by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath (62 per cent approval versus 29 per cent disapproval). Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown sits at 47 per cent approval, while 31 per cent disapprove of the job he’s doing.
The poll also found that the Ontario Liberal Party could be in trouble if an election were held today, with some 33 per cent of voters saying they would support the Progressive Conservative Party.
The poll found that with 24 per cent support, the Liberals would be vying for second place with the NDP, which currently polls at 23 per cent support.
“The PCs are leading in most regions of the province but still lag in Toronto,” Mainstreet Research President Quito Maggi said in a news release issued with the poll. “In South West Ontario they are now in a virtual tie with the NDP, with the PCs at 39% and the NDP at 37% among decided and leaning voters.
“These are improved numbers for the Liberals, they are up 4% overall and continue to lead in the City of Toronto, but their regional number in the GTA (30%) would lead to a virtual wipe-out outside Toronto and Ottawa city limits.”
In addition to looking at the numbers for the provincial parties and their leaders, the poll asked respondents about a number of other issues, including hydro rates and the effect that U.S. President Donald Trump could have on Ontario’s auto sector.
“Perhaps underscoring the difficulty Premier Kathleen Wynne continues to face 55% of Ontarians say the provincial government has not taken any action in the last year to reduce electricity prices,” Maggi said in the release. “As Ontario’s Liberals continue to look for ways to shed this albatross they will not only have to deliver a reduction in prices but will need to effectively communicate new policy to Ontarians if they want the political credit.”
When it comes to Trump, the poll found that 55 per cent of Ontarians feel his economic policies will negatively impact Ontario’s auto sector. That number was lower in Southwestern Ontario (32 per cent) and higher in the GTA, where 69 per cent of respondents said Trump’s policies will hurt the province’s auto sector.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.95 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.