May 24, 2019
May 24, 2019 1:41 PM EDT
Ontario Premier Doug Ford heads outside after addressing media at the Thorncrest Ford dealership, near The Queensway and Highway 427, in Toronto, Ont. on Monday April 1, 2019. Ernest Doroszuk / Toronto Sun
Premier Doug Ford is so unpopular he’s got to look up to see former premier Kathleen Wynne’s approval rating, a Mainstreet Research poll finds.
Ford’s latest net favourability rating was minus 53.5%, a figure that has been sliding since January, Mainstreet Research Vice-President Dr. Joseph Angolano said Friday.
By the end of her second mandate, polling consistently showed Wynne with extremely poor favourability ratings — minus 35.3% — and her party went on to lose all but seven seats in the June 2018 provincial election.
“In our April poll, internally we did think there’s a chance he will surpass Kathleen Wynne’s favourability ratings and it turns out he has,” he said.
Among decided and leaning voters, the Liberals were at 39.9% support, the NDP at 24.2%, the PCs at 22.4% and the Greens at 12%.
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Ford has never enjoyed strong popularity numbers but went on to win a majority in last year’s provincial election, and his current rating may reflect some of the more unpopular measures that government’s typically roll out early in their mandates, Angolano said.
“It does happen where candidates do have negatives but they generally are the most popular option on the table,” he said.
“The good news for the Premier today is that there isn’t an election that’s going to be called right now … but to see it at this extreme?”
The person who appears to have emerged as Ford’s most high-profile critic outside the Ontario Legislature — Toronto Mayor John Tory who has objected to reductions in public health and other provincial funding — would be Liberal supporters first choice to lead the party, the poll found.
Almost 40% of poll respondents said they would vote Liberal if the former Ontario PC leader were leading the Ontario Liberal Party, 29.6% would support it with Sandra Pupatello at the helm, 27.8% with Steven Del Duca, 28.1% with Michael Coteau and 28% with Mitzie Hunter.
Toronto Mayor John Tory, left, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford stand for a photo in Ford’s Queen’s Park office in Toronto, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Cole Burston / The Canadian Press
The Ontario Liberals, who could soon dip to just five members, are in the beginning stages of replacing interim leader John Fraser with the person who will carry the party into the next provincial election in 2022.
Mainstreet Research surveyed 996 Ontarians, May 21-22, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%, and is considered accurate 19 times out of 20.