9 MARCH 2018 – (TORONTO, ON) – Christine Elliott has a slight edge over Doug Ford in what is turning into a highly competitive Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leadership race, a new Mainstreet Research poll finds.
The poll surveyed 18308 PC party members between March 1st and March 7th. The respondents were asked to rank their top three choices. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 0.7% and is accurate 19 times out of 20.
“Even though they are virtually tied on riding points, Christine Elliott has a six point lead in popular vote over Doug Ford,” said Quito Maggi, President and CEO of Mainstreet Research. “With a strong majority of Caroline Mulroney’s second choice voters also expected to go to her, we believe that Christine Elliott is a slight favourite when the results are announced on Saturday.”
When calculating for points per riding, Elliott would get 35.2% on first ballot, and Ford would garner 34.9%, Mulroney would be at 17.3% and Granic Allen would come in with 12.5%.
In terms of votes among decided voters, Elliott leads with 38.3%, while Ford has 32.2% support. Caroline Mulroney follows with 17.5% and Tanya Granic Allen has the support of 12% of Conservative members.
“Writing off Doug Ford would be a mistake because he is in good shape coming into Saturday,” added Maggi. “Over 2/3rds of Granic Allen’s second choice votes will go to Ford when she drops off the ballot and his vote is more efficient than Elliott’s”.
1000 simulations of the leadership vote using all the responses were run. Elliott won 53% of the simulations while Ford won 47%.
“We will not be surprised if Ford wins even though Elliott leads by a nose,” Maggi concluded.
When asked which candidate is most likely to beat Kathleen Wynne in the June election, 43.4% of Conservative members said Elliott was the best choice compared to 35.5% who said Doug Ford. 15% chose Caroline Mulroney as their best bet to win in June while 6% said Granic Allen was the likeliest to defeat the Ontario Liberals.
The results of the vote will be announced on Saturday.