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63% Say Donations Influenced Government Policy

May 28, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds Ontarians support proposed reforms to Ontario’s campaign financing laws – with 63% saying they believe donations have influenced provincial government policy. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 1.95%, 19 times out of 20.

“We’ve seen the provincial government in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research. “The Wynne government reacted swiftly once it became apparent that their fundraising practices had the potential to dominate the news cycle. Other premiers however facing similar criticism decided to do nothing at all; in British Columbia, Christy Clark stared down critics and defeated an initiative to bring in contribution limits. In Saskatchewan, Brad Wall batted away any talk of campaign financing reform.”

“The new reforms will make it tougher for third parties to advertise as they now face strict limits on what they can spend before and during election campaigns – these are moves Ontarians support. 68% support banning campaign contributions from unions and corporations (as well as establishing an individual contribution limit) and 61% approve of the limitations on third party spending before and during elections.”

“The Liberals’ per-vote subsidy has only 43% support among Ontarians with 42% opposed, a statistical tie. The per-vote subsidy has the lowest support of the campaign financing reform plan.

“Overall, 69% support the campaign reform plan. 63% of Ontarians also believe campaign contributions have influenced government policy – a claim the provincial government denies.

”Provincially we are seeing a closer race between the PCs and Liberals, with the NDP falling to 16%. The regional numbers tell a different story however. The Liberals only lead in the City of Toronto and Eastern Ontario. In Southwest, South Central and Northern Ontario the PCs lead by 9%, they also lead by 5% in the seat-rich GTA. With redistribution underway, this would set up some very tight races in Brampton, Mississauga and Durham region,” finished Maggi.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Mainstreet – Ontario May 2016