The Progressive Conservatives and Liberals are neck-in-neck among decided voters as the Ontario election campaign enters the home stretch, a new poll has found.

The Ipsos Reid survey for CTV News, conducted after the party leaders’ June 3 televised debate, shows the Tim Hudak-led PCs and Kathleen Wynne-led Liberals each with 35 per cent of the vote among the province’s decided voters.

The NDP, led by Andrea Horwath, has increased their numbers among decided voters, but they still trail at 26 per cent.

Decided voters

  • Progressive Conservatives: 35 per cent (-1)
  • Liberals: 35 per cent (+1)
  • NDP: 26 per cent (+3)
  • Other: 4 per cent (-3)
  • Undecided: 12 per cent

Among the 56 per cent of Ontarians who say “nothing short of an unforeseen emergency” could stop them from casting their ballot, the PCs hold a hefty eight-point lead over the Liberals, who appear to be faltering slightly among likely voters. The number of undecided likely voters is also shrinking as election day approaches.

Likely voters

  • PC: 40 per cent (+5)
  • Liberal: 32 percent (-3)
  • NDP: 24 per cent (-2)
  • Other: 3 per cent (-1)
  • Undecided likely voters: 5 per cent (-7)

The trend has not wavered throughout the campaign, as Tory voters appear to be the most motivated to vote, and are the most committed to their party of choice. Among PC voters, 74 per cent say nothing short of an emergency will prevent them from voting, compared with 61 per cent of NDP voters and 60 per cent of Liberal voters who stated the same. The poll also indicates that PC voters are keeping closer tabs on the election campaign as it unfolds.

Among PC voters, 66 per cent say they are “absolutely certain” they will support the PCs on election day, while 52 per cent of the NDP voters and 45 per cent of Liberal voters have indicated the same.

Desire for change

A strong appetite for change in the province is likely the motivating factor among PC voters. Seven in 10 Ontarians say “it is time for another provincial party to take over and run the province,” compared with 32 per cent who believe that “The Wynne government has done a good job" and deserves re-election.

There is no consensus among Ontarians on which party and leader will bring the type of change the province needs:

  • Tim Hudak: 30 per cent
  • Kathleen Wynne: 28 per cent
  • Andrea Horwath: 26 per cent
  • Other: 17 per cent

The home stretch

Meanwhile, in the waning days of the campaign, 33 per cent of Ontarians say they are voting for a particular party in an effort to prevent another party from forming government. The poll found that 43 per cent of Liberals voters say that they’re trying to stop another party from winning, which suggests some are rallying around the Liberals in an attempt to stave off the PCs.

There could be some surprising changes on election day. Approximately 26 per cent of Ontarians indicated they will make their final choice in the last week of the campaign, or at the voting booth on election day.

The poll found that if decided voters change their mind, the votes will be jockeyed among the NDP and the Liberals.

  • Liberals voters who choose NDP as second choice: 46 per cent
  •  NDP voters who choose Liberals as second choice: 36 per cent
  • PC voters who choose the NDP as second choice: 33 per cent

The Ipsos Reid poll was conducted between June 3 (after the debate) and June 6. The poll is accurate within plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.