Monday, October 01, 2007

Tory’s ship is sinking: Will 'leadership' get thrown overboard?

The new polling numbers on the Ontario provincial election released over the weekend by Ipsos Reid surely have to be giving Conservatives pause, and causing John Tory to ask what ‘matters’ more: leadership, or polling numbers.

Because these polling numbers aren’t good. Unless you’re a Liberal, that is. Looks like Dalton is the debate winner after all. The latest numbers show the Liberals (43) opening-up a 10 point lead over the Conservatives (33), with the NDP treading-water at 17 and the Greens continually unchanged at 6.

For all the Conservative bluster, the numbers show the Liberals down just three points from the 46 they achieved in Election 2003, while if the vote were held today John Tory would have done two points WORSE than Ernie Eves, who had all that Mike Harris baggage to deal with. Ouch.

Here’s the chart:

Ipsos indicates the landscape is hardening, with people becoming more firmly decided in their voting choice. Interesting also though is the motivation of voters to get out and vote, always key for electoral success. Conservative voters are the most motivated at 74 per cent, followed by NDPers at 70 per cent and Liberals at 68 per cent.

Even factoring in those figured though, Ipsos still projects a potential Liberal majority, with Libs 42 per cent to Cons 35 and NDP 17. So, get out the vote will be essential if the Liberals want to get a majority.

On the issues front, the number one issue dogging Tory, according to Ipsos, and, well, everybody paying even a little attention, is faith-based schooling:

While at the beginning of the campaign 35% of Ontarians either ‘strongly’ (14%) or ‘somewhat’ (21%) supported the Progressive Conservative plan to extend funding to faith-based schools throughout Ontario, just three in ten (30%) Ontarians currently either ‘strongly’ (13%) or ‘somewhat support’ (17%) this idea. What is profound is the intensity with which Ontarians overwhelmingly oppose (68%) this plan, with a majority (51%) indicating that they ‘strongly oppose’ and two in ten (17%) saying that they ‘somewhat oppose’ the Ontario Government in extending full funding to faith-based schools and others of a similar nature.

If there’s any solace for John Tory it’s his personal numbers. On the Best Premier front he’s still neck and neck with Dalton McGuinty, with Dalton at 33 per cent and John at 32 per cent.

So, perhaps people do think leadership matters. It’s the rest of the ‘John Tory Team’ that Ontarians have a problem with. And, one wonders how strong Tory’s leadership numbers will stay if he flip-flops and breaks his promise on the faith-based schooling issue, forsaking ‘leadership’ for political opportunism. Perhaps that’s why, as Jason speculates, he was pushing supporters to vote last week.

Just a week and a half to go to e-day. Makes me a bit sad I’ll be in Vegas and will miss all the excitement. But only a little bit.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers

No comments: