Ontario Politics: Top Issue and Should Kathleen Wynne call an election?

Jobs and the Economy Top Issues in Ontario
Ontarians split on whether Kathleen Wynne should call an election.

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A new provincial survey released by Abacus Data found that jobs, the economy and related issues are the most important issues to voters in Ontario as Kathleen Wynne forms a new government.  Liberals and Progressive Conservatives alike expressed concerns surrounding job creation, the economy and provincial debt levels, while NDP voters were less likely to focus on a single issue.

“Ontarians identified jobs, the economy, and health care as the top three issues facing the province,” said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.  “We heard a lot about the economy during the Liberal leadership race and I suspect you will hear a lot about that in the coming Throne Speech.”

“The strength of Ontario’s economy affect not just jobs, but real estate values, retirement security, and other issues that affect the lives of every Ontarians.  The economy is a cross-partisan issue,” said Coletto.  “The question that the parties have to answer is – who is better at managing the economy?”

Progressive Conservative supporters were most likely to say that the provincial deficit and debt was the most important issue facing Ontario (25%) while Liberal and NDP supporters were more likely to mention something about the provincial economy.

“Hudak’s supporters want a hard line on spending and deficit reduction,” said Coletto.  “Given that, Premier Wynne will likely have an easier time and risk less backlash if she works with the NDP and Andrea Horwath.  Supporters of both parties have similar priorities and don’t want a spring election.”

“Kathleen Wynne faces two opposition leaders each with different pressure points from their respective supporters,” said Coletto.  “On the big files of the economy and the provincial budget, public opinion prevents her from finding common group with both.”

Ontarians are split on whether Wynne should call an election


Highlighting Ontario’s polarized political landscape, 40% of Ontarians agreed that Kathleen Wynne should call an election to get a mandate from Ontarians while 38% percent disagreed that an election should be called.  Twenty-one percent were unsure.


Politically,  Liberal Party supporters were most likely to oppose the idea of an early election (60%), while Progressive Conservative Party supporters were most likely to agree that an election should be called (64% of Progressive Conservative supporters want an election).  New Democrats were more divided – 42% want Premier Wynne to call an election while 37% do not want her to.

“With the high level of divisiveness we have seen in Ontario politics, it is not surprising that Progressive Conservative voters would like to get another shot at the polls” said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.  “Liberals and many New Democrat supporters, meanwhile, seem leery of going to the polls before  Kathleen Wynne has had a chance to govern.”



The survey was conducted online with 1,020 respondents in English and French using an internet survey programmed and collected by Abacus Data. A random sample of panelists was invited to participate in the survey from a panel of over 150,000 Canadians.  The survey was completed from February 5 to 6, 2013.

Since the online survey was not a random, probability based sample, a margin of error could not be calculated.   The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association prohibits statements about margins of sampling error or population estimates with regard to most online panels.

The margin of error for a probability-based random sample of 1,020 respondents using a probability sample is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

The data was weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Ontario’s population according to age, gender, education level, and region.

These questions were posed as part of the Abacus Data monthly Omnibus survey.