If an election were held today, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives would claim a massive majority, according to a new poll.
The survey, conducted by The Forum Poll, shows support for the PCs at 49 percent, followed by the Liberals at 24 percent, and the NDP at 19 percent. It also projects the PCs securing majority of seats, with the NDP becoming the official opposition, and the Liberals—which currently hold a majority government, as the third party.
The PCs, which polls late last year and early this year showed poised to form the next government with declining support for the Liberals, were recently thrown into turmoil after the departure of Patrick Brown as party leader over sexual misconduct allegations reported by CTV. Brown has refuted the allegations, and said he is suing CTV.
Brown has since thrown in his hat for the PC leadership race set for March 10, joining candidates Christine Elliott, Doug Ford, Tanya Granic Allen, and Caroline Mulroney.
“The constant stream of media attention and fervour surrounding the leadership race, has done nothing but help the Progressive Conservatives, with almost half of Ontarians now saying they would support the PCs if an election were held today,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, the company behind the poll, in a news release.
The poll shows support for Elliott, a former Ontario MPP and wife of late former federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, as the highest at close to a quarter (22 percent).
Ford, a former Toronto city councillor and brother of deceased former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, comes in second with 16 percent, followed by Mulroney, a businesswoman, lawyer, and daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, at 14 percent and Brown at 13 percent. About 5 percent said they would support businesswoman and social conservative advocate Granic Allen.
“Even Patrick Brown’s re-entry into the race isn’t yet showing as a negative, with just as many people saying they agree with the decision as disagree,” Bozinoff said.
“Right now it looks as any of the four frontrunners would secure a majority for the PCs in the next election.”
The poll projects a total of 93 seats for the PCs, 21 seats for the NDP, and 10 seats for the Liberals.