Ontario Liberals and PCs tied, new survey suggests

Ontario's Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties are in a statistical tie among decided voters, according to a new Nanos survey that also suggests many Ontarians are unimpressed with the leaders of three main parties.

Ontario's Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties are in a statistical tie among decided voters, according to a new Nanos survey that also suggests many Ontarians are unimpressed by the leaders of three main parties.

The survey questioned 1,000 random Ontarians in telephone interviews between Aug. 11 and Aug. 16.

Of decided voters, 34.7 percent said they would vote for the Progressive Conservatives while 34 per cent said they would vote Liberal — results well within the margin or error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. 

The NDP was the preferred choice of  22.1 per cent of voters. The Green Party trailed at 6.8 per cent.

1 in 4 choose 'none' as most trustworthy, most competent

Other questions in the survey suggest that no one leader has captured the public's imagination.

When asked "Which of the provincial party leaders would you best describe as the most trustworthy leader?," the most popular answer was "None of them" at 24.4 per cent. Hudak (17.8 per cent) was chosen slightly more often than McGuinty (17.1 per cent) and Horwath (15.9 per cent). Another 22.2 per cent said they were unsure.

A similar question about which leader is "most competent" had 25.4 per cent of respondents saying they were unsure and 22.7 per cent saying "None of them." McGuinty was the most popular leader in this category at 22.5 per cent, followed by Hudak (16.5 per cent) and Horwath (9.5 per cent).

Many respondents (25.1 per cent) were unsure about who had the "best vision for Ontario's future," while 22.6 per cent responded "none of them." Hudak led the category with 18.2 per cent, with McGuinty (17.9 per cent) and Horwath (12.1 per cent) behind.

Asked who they trusted most to manage six different issues, Hudak led on health care, the economy, taxes and electricity costs. McGuinty led on education, while Horwath led on the environment.

Survey respondents, without being offered answers to choose from, said the most important issue facing the province was healthcare at 35.3 per cent, followed by jobs/economy at 21.8 per cent and education at 11.7 per cent. The debt/deficit, high taxes and the environment rounded out the list.  

A survey of this size is accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. For the pool of decided voters, it was within 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.