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Dramatic Shift in Poll Results From New Data

[Ottawa – June 6, 2014] – In a major shift, the results from our polling today have placed the Progressive Conservatives into a statistically insignificant lead over the Ontario Liberal Party. Although there are some peculiar things in the sample and the effect is largely concentrated in cases sampled today, the results are highly statistically and substantively significant. This very significant surge in support for Tim Hudak’s PC party disrupts what had been a very stable pattern of a modest but significant lead for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal Party. While she still has a slight lead with likely voters, she must be very concerned about such an abrupt shift at this late stage of the campaign.

It is difficult to come up with an explanation for such a movement and we can only offer speculation at this stage. The tightening that we saw the night of the debate may have once again shifted some momentum to the Progressive Conservatives as the filtered results of debate coverage percolated through the media and coffee meetings at work. This may also simply be one of those short lived blips that sometimes occur after debates and then dissipate as the ballot box looms.

There are some areas where the movement is concentrated. The huge GTA advantage that Wynne enjoyed yesterday has been substantially whittled away. Similarly, her advantage with women has almost disappeared. Hudak, meanwhile, has consolidated an even stronger lead with high school graduates and he has opened up a daunting lead in Eastern Ontario.

Whatever the causes, these numbers throw a prediction of Wynne victory into disarray. Clearly, we will have to have a hard look at what transpires in the coming days but the entrenched patterns of the campaign have suddenly erupted and what looked like a clear Wynne victory now has moved to a toss-up with momentum apparently favouring Hudak. Until the numbers/trends are confirmed or denied tomorrow, we will simply say that the race has moved in a dramatic fashion that renders the outcome and predictability extremely uncertain.


This study was conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator.

In an effort to reduce the coverage bias of landline only RDD, we created a dual landline/cell phone RDD sampling frame for this research. As a result, we are able to reach those with a landline and cell phone, as well as cell phone only households and landline only households. This methodology is not to be confused with the increasing proliferation of non-probability opt-in online panels which have recently been incorrectly reported in major national media with inappropriate margin of error estimates.

The field dates for this survey are June 3-5, 2014. In total, a random sample of 1,690 Ontario residents aged 18 and over responded to the survey (including a sub-sample of 1,402 decided voters). The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/-2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Please note that the margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as sex, age, education and region). All the data have been statistically weighted by gender, age, education, and 2011 provincial vote to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Ontario according to Census data.

Click here for the full report: Full Report (June 6, 2014)

3 comments to Dramatic Shift in Poll Results From New Data

  • Your report looks awesome. Good information thank you. I am also praying that it is spot on and the Liberals are indeed falling behind.

  • David Weber

    Interesting. The shift was after the leaders debate, where it was said in a previous poll that 38% of voters would make up their minds after watching that debate. Hudak sticks to his invalid lines and increases. Wynne is more genuine and apologizes again for another leader’s errors, goes down. Schreiner, not allowed to be in the debate, goes down because nobody saw him. Leaders debates are very important. And controlled.

  • Michael F

    Why is it that people with the least education are willing to vote for a party that will slash the public services they would tend to rely on the most?