The Progressive Conservatives appear to be losing support among Ontario voters, while the NDP gain momentum after a slow start, a new poll shows.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid for CTV News on May 20 and 21, shows a tightening race, with only a seven-point gap between the frontrunner Progressive Conservatives and the third-place NDP. The Tim Hudak-led PCs continue to lead the pack among committed voters, with the Liberals under Kathleen Wynne and the Andrea Horwath-led NDP trailing.

According to the poll, if an election were held tomorrow:

  • The Progressive Conservatives would receive 35 per cent support (-4)
  • The Liberals would receive 31 per cent support (+1)
  • The NDP would receive 28 per cent support (+4)
  • Other parties would receive 6 per cent (-1)

Nineteen per cent of voters remain undecided, the poll found.

PC voters also appear to be the most committed to showing up on election day, while the Liberals and NDP are still facing an uphill challenge to get their supporters to the polls, according to the poll. Fifty-three per cent of current PC voters are “absolutely certain” of their party choice on election day, compared to 42 per cent of NDP voters, and 37 per cent of Liberal voters.

Switching teams?

With 19 per cent of Ontarians completely undecided three weeks before election day, and with uncertainty among NDP and Liberal voters, there is a significant potential for a shift in the standings as the campaign rolls along.

Liberal voters are more likely to name the NDP (41 per cent) as their second choice over the PCs or another party, while PC voters are more likely to choose the NDP (25 per cent) as a second preference over the Liberals or another party. NDP voters are more likely to vote Liberal (39 per cent) over the PCs or another party.

The numbers suggest that while the PCs have little room for growth from vote-switching, the Liberal and NDP could see gains if supporters rally around either party.

According to the poll, the desire for change remains strong, with 72 per cent of Ontarians saying “it is time for another provincial party to take over and run the province.” Twenty-eight per cent think that the “Liberal government under Premier Kathleen Wynne has done a good job and deserves to be re-elected during the next provincial election.”

Best premier

While support remains strong for his party, Hudak trails the other leaders among voters on the question of who would make the best premier of Ontario. Horwath, who triggered an election after announcing her party would not support the Liberals’ budget, appears to be more popular than her party.

  • Andrea Horwath: 38 per cent
  • Kathleen Wynne: 32 per cent
  • Tim Hudak: 30 per cent

The poll included a sample of 800 Ontarians, and is considered accurate within +/- 3.9 percentage points.