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EKOS Predicts PC Majority


[Ottawa – June 6, 2018] In what has been a wild ride, the electorate are converging on a judgement that will see Doug Ford leading a comfortable majority for the next four years in Queen’s Park.

The campaign has been highly dynamic and the final results bear little resemblance to the results going into the election. The NDP has seen a profound improvement in their fortunes and jumped from 21 points just two months ago to 41 points just around the time of the final debate. Since then, however, they have fallen back and their four-point lead has turned into a four-point deficit. The Liberal Party, meanwhile, is suffering catastrophic losses, although they have staunched the bleeding in the last week of the campaign.

Here is a reasoned conjecture on what we believe the seat outcome will be on June 7th:











Contrary to some speculation that various late announcements about Doug Ford (such as his sister-in-law’s lawsuit) would have a negative impact on his performance, they have had either no effect, or even the opposite effect. This mirrors the strength of populist support enjoyed by Donald Trump, which seemed inelastic to his myriad of scandals.

The election of this conservative government is based on a different constituency than earlier conservative governments. It is based on a new ‘ordered populism’ that led to both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. This is something that we have seen vividly expressed in Ontario for the last year.

This ordered populism differs somewhat from the Trumpian variety. Trump’s victory was very much focussed among white voters. Doug Ford, while he does not do as well with minorities, he still does quite well.

Nevertheless, this ‘Northern populism’ does share many of the same characteristics as Trump’s populism. Ford’s supporters are economically pessimistic and they are much more wary of immigration, globalization, and ‘elites’. His constituency skews to lower socioeconomic status. It is unusual to see the NDP leading with the upper class and the PCs leading with the poor, but such is the new topsy-turvy political landscape. Ford supporters are not older and he actually leads with millennials and men, particularly younger and middle-aged men. Ford’s support is also focussed among rural and suburban voters. We will be providing a two-week roll-up of our regional numbers to create a more reliable regional profile in the next few days.

Survey results also reveal a growing expectation of both a PC victory and a PC majority, something that was not recognized by voters even a few days ago.

In many respects, this has been a remarkable election with profound implications for understanding the new fault lines in our society. Like others, we will be analyzing and trying to understand the results in the coming weeks. At some point, however, we should stop being surprised by such political events and begin thinking about what are the core drivers and policy solutions for this populist discontent.


This survey was conducted using High Definition Interactive Voice Response (HD-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.

The figures in this report are based on a three-day rolling sample. Each day, a new day’s worth of interviewing is added and the oldest day is dropped. The field dates for this survey are June 4-6, 2018. In total, a random sub-sample of 1,230 residents of Ontario aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.8 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 region, sex, age, education). All the data have been statistically weighted by age, gender, region, and educational attainment to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.

Please click here for the full report.

5 comments to EKOS Predicts PC Majority

  • GenerationZ

    I’m in the 18-34 range. Voted for PC as my first ever vote. Looking around, I’d say that there are many undecided (non-voters) around me. Of likely voters, I would say that Doug Ford is the reluctant choice. His support seems to be quite diverse ethnicity-wise, as opposed to Donald Trump’s. However, Ford’s support is not at all diverse gender-wise, as your polling confirmed.

    I think supporting the roll-back of the sex-ed curriculum is a large reason for the diverse coalition of men backing Doug Ford. Similarly, his promise to repeal ‘discovery based’ math was a huge factor in my support. It really is lunacy.

    Economy-wise, Ford is a winner with his fight against carbon taxes. Despite being softly portrayed by the media, the tax is quite unpopular, and gas prices are going up just at the right time for Ford. I bubble with anger at the pump. It’s also not hard to see how decimated the manufacturing sector has become, in large part due to high taxes and energy costs.

    I predict higher than expected turnout for Doug Ford and the PC party tomorrow. PC’s will capture 42% or more of the popular vote.

  • Gamal

    I am one those so called “ethnic” voters who has had enough of the labeling by pollsters and the media voted for Doug Ford

    The context of the word ethnic being used by these pollsters is offensive to many of us , yet they talk about populism . these condescending and talking down attitudes by the left and their cheerleaders is precisely why a lot of “immigrants” like myself are voting for a person like Doug Ford
    and by the way most of us immigrants are highly educated !!

  • Brad

    How can a candidate without a post-secondary level education, an understanding of how to pass a bill in the legislature, a fully costed platform, a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or an understanding of the need for modern sex education even be the leader of a party?

    How can such a candidate who refuses to talk to most media outlets, who has candidates skipping all candidates meetings, and who has candidates under legal investigation be more than a fringe factor in an election?

    While Wynne was very unpopular(some of which wasn’t directly her fault), there were at least four options on all ballots. This meant that nobody had to vote PC to oppose Wynne, especially when there was another party, the NDP, that could have formed government.

    The data on Ford makes it pretty clear that he has the least educated and likely least wealthy support base. It strongly suggests that a significant chunk of the Ford base is the same as the Trump base, uninformed, angry and struggling people who vote against their own best interests without even knowing it. Ford is not ‘for the little guy’ despite what his branding suggests.

    Sad state of affairs in Ontario

    • Ross

      I agree Brad on all your points. Based on a Navigator study, the main reason Conservatives voted for Ford was based on greed. They wanted the personal tax cuts plus reduced taxes on gasoline.

      Politicians like Ford say they are for the little guy but then cut government services that the poor and lower middle class desperately need, roll back minimum wages for lower income earners and do not support publicly funded day care.

      It is truly a sad state of affairs in Ontario.

  • Victor

    Well, Ford has been a trainwreck. He invented a $15B deficit to cover up his own, $13.8B deficit, then just started slashing programs. He’s on the road to privatize services because he’s under-funding the government. Ontario’s credit-rating has gone down twice, and it hasn’t been a year. He used incorrect estimates from 2018 for his supply account for 2019, purposely underfunding this budget. He’s been very un-transparent. Didn’t meet with the Committee for his budget estimates all year. That’s not how democracy is supposed to work!

    People are disgruntled with Liberals in Canada, but PCs are worse. They’re better at talking to people and seem more relatable, but the first things they do is make cuts for people and give breaks to the rich. If there is a strong resentment towards Liberals, the answer isn’t Conservatives, it’s to go Green or NDP. Almost every election in the last year has been a race between Conservatives and the NDP or Greens. It indicates middle class is struggling, people are looking for relief. Unfortunately, as history shows, Conservatives make it worse, not better for the middle class.

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