28 February 2018 – (Toronto, ON) – The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leadership race will likely be a close race between Christine Elliott and Doug Ford, a new Mainstreet Research poll finds.
The poll surveyed 17399 PC party members between February 21st and February 26th. 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.
“With the exit of Patrick Brown from the leadership race, Ford and Elliott look to be in a tight race to become the next leader of the PCs”, said Quito Maggi, President and CEO of Mainstreet Research.
In terms of votes among decided voters, Ford leads with 36.7%, while Elliott has 32.7% support. Caroline Mulroney follows with 20% and Tanya Granic Allen has the support of 10.6% of Conservative members.
When calculating for points per riding, Ford would get 34.8% of the points on the first ballot, Elliott would garner 33.9%, Mulroney would be at 19.6% and Granic Allen would be 11.7%.
“The chances of Ford and Elliott winning are that of flipping a coin,” added Maggi. “There are so many intangibles that will impact the outcome of this race which makes it difficult to predict.”
Also, 1000 simulations of the leadership vote using all the responses were run. Ford won 52.2% of the simulations while Elliott won 47.8%. All simulations had the vote go the full three ballots.
PC members have until March 5 to register to vote in the leadership race. Only 7000 are said to have registered as of yesterday.
“Each campaign is in a race to register as many members as they can before this Friday,” continued Maggi. “The campaign that can register the most members and get them to vote will win.”
“It could be any of the candidates – irrespective of what these numbers say.”
The poll had included Brown as an option. To accommodate Brown’s exit, those respondents who indicated that they would vote for Brown had their second choices changed to first choice.
Brown had a narrow lead over Elliott and Ford. The former leader had 25.6% support, while Elliott and Ford had 25.4% each.