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Ontario Race Tightens as Writ Drops


[Ottawa – May 11, 2022] With barely three weeks to go until Ontarians go to the polls, what was looking to be a runaway election has turned into a horserace. A week ago, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario enjoyed a 14-point lead over the (barely) second-place Liberals and a prospect of a second PC majority seemed to be a sure thing. Fast forward to today, however, and the party’s lead has shrunk to less than five points – a clear lead, but insufficient for a majority.

Regionally, the PCs do well across the province, though they fare particularly well in Eastern Ontario. Liberal support, meanwhile, is concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area. NDP support is spread evenly throughout the province.

The underlying demographic patterns reveal a massive gender gap. If voting were restricted to men, the PCs would utterly sweep the province in a landslide victory. If it were restricted to women, the PCs would be relegated to third place. Liberal support rises progressively with age, while NDP support declines with age. The PCs do extremely well with the college educated, but lag behind the Liberals among university graduates.

The PCs are the most efficient when it comes to carrying over support from their federal counterparts. Among supporters of the Conservative Party of Canada, fully 87% intend to vote PC in the upcoming election. The Ontario NDP enjoys the support of 78% of its federal members, while the Ontario Liberals have carried over just 66% of the federal Liberal vote. Among People’s Party voters, just one-third support the PCs, while the remainder have turned to alternative options such as the New Blue Party or the Ontario Party.

Public support for Highway 413

Finally, we looked at public support for a major pillar of the PC platform – the proposed construction of Highway 413. Overall, opposition to the project outweighs support by a margin of more than two to one (48% versus 23%). However, results vary heavily by political affiliation. A clear plurality of PC voters (48%) support the project, a figure that falls to just 14% among Liberal voters and 10% among NDP supporters.


This report draws on data from two separate surveys. The first 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 field dates for the first survey are May 3-9, 2022. In total, a random sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The second survey was conducted using EKOS’ unique, hybrid online/telephone research panel, Probit. Our panel offers exhaustive coverage of the Canadian population (i.e., Internet, phone, cell phone), random recruitment (in other words, participants are recruited randomly, they do not opt themselves into our panel), and equal probability sampling. All respondents to our panel are recruited by telephone using random digit dialling and are confirmed by live interviewers. Unlike opt-in online panels, Probit supports margin of error estimates.

While panellists are randomly recruited, the second survey was conducted online only, meaning that it excludes the roughly one in six Canadians who either cannot or will not respond to surveys online. Results should therefore be considered representative of Canada’s online population. The field dates for this survey are May 2-6, 2022. In total, a random sample of 580 Ontario residents aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 4.1 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, and region to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.

EKOS follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements.

Please click here for a copy of the data tables from the first survey.

Please click here for a copy of the data tables from the second survey.

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