Premier Wynne's popularity 'abysmal': Poll
Premier Kathleen Wynne (Toronto Sun)
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s approval rating has increased four percentage points and still comes in at under 20%.
Two-thirds of Ontarians either somewhat or strongly disapprove of her job performance as premier, while only 18% think she’s doing a good job, according to a new poll.
“I would say that she has improved from atrocious to abysmal,” Mainstreet Research president Quito Maggi said Thursday of the 4% bump. “That’s still a long, long way from where she needs to be to have any chance of a comeback.”
A Mainstreet Research poll found that among decided or leaning voters, 39% back the Progressive Conservatives, 29% support the Liberals, 27% give the nod to the NDP and 4% favour the Greens.
A strong 62% of those polled like how NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is handling her duties.
Although Horwath’s high-popularity numbers haven’t translated to great box-office success in the past, they do suggest momentum as the election approaches in 2018, Maggi said.
When it comes to PC Leader Patrick Brown, whose party is currently at the top of the polls, his approval numbers have dipped to 47%.
“He’s down slightly; this is just outside the margin of error in terms of decrease,” Maggi said. “He’s still close to a majority approval. I don’t see that being much of a concern if I’m Patrick Brown.”
The same poll asked voters if Wynne had taken any action to lower their hydro bills – a top concern for Ontarians.
Even though the Ontario Liberals under Wynne dropped the 8% provincial portion of the HST off hydro bills as of Jan. 1, not many people seemed to have noticed.
More than half of Ontarians – 55% - say the government has taken no action over the past year to reduce electricity prices, the poll found.
That finding may explain why Wynne and her party are struggling, behind in almost ever part of the province except the cities of Toronto and Ottawa.
Even the 905, which came out the winner when Wynne blocked Toronto Mayor John Tory from slapping polls on the two main highways into the city, favours the PCs.
“I think at this point it’s not about the message, it’s the messenger,” Maggi said. “I really do believe that a lot of the positive announcements that this Premier has made in the last year - whether it’s about the hydro rebate, free tuition for low income families, even small things like beer in grocery stores that is widely popular – I think it’s all being drowned out by the hydro rates and hydro privatization and the way the government has really lost control of that whole process.”
Mainstreet Research also asked Ontarians about the impact of a Donald Trump presidency on the auto sector, a key provincial industry, and most said it would harm it.
The pollster surveyed 2,524 Ontarians on Feb. 12 through landlines and cell lines, and the results are considered accurate within 1.95 percentage points.