POLITICS
05/24/2019 12:01 EDT

Doug Ford Is Less Popular Than Kathleen Wynne Was When She Lost Power, Poll Suggests

The premier’s PC party would come in third place if an election was held today.

Chris Young/Canadian Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is pictured at the Ontario legislature in Toronto on May 22, 2019.

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is already less popular than former premier Kathleen Wynne was at the end of her time in office, new research suggests.

Ford has a net favourability of -53.5 per cent, meaning more poll respondents dislike the premier than like him.

Almost 20 per cent of the 996 Ontario residents polled by Mainstreet Research said they have a favourable view of Ford, while 73 per cent said they have an unfavourable opinion of him.

In April 2018, Wynne’s net favourability was -35.3 percent.

“More and more Ontarians are turning away from Doug Ford as his support is collapsing,” Mainstreet Research president and CEO Quito Maggi said in a press release.

More and more Ontarians are turning away from Doug Ford as his support is collapsing.Quito Maggi

“We have never seen an imcumbent [sic] premier reach these depths in popular opinion with barely a year into his mandate.”

If an election were held today, nearly 40 per cent of Ontarians would vote Liberal, the poll found. The NDP is in second place with 24 per cent support and Ford’s ruling Progressive Conservatives are in third place with 22 per cent, a 10 percentage-point drop since April.

The Green party, which has only one elected MPP, now has the support of 12 per cent of Ontarians.

Mainstreet Research also asked decided Liberal voters who they’d like to see become the party’s next permanent leader.

Wynne resigned from the job after her party was decimated, down to just seven seats in the legislature, in last year’s election.

Most Liberal voters who have made up their mind said they’d like to see Toronto Mayor John Tory — someone who has indicated he has no interest in the job — take over.

Cole Burston/Canadian Press
Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Doug Ford stand for a photo opportunity in the premier's Queen's Park office in Toronto on Dec. 6, 2018. 

Sixty-five per cent said Tory should lead the party, while 11 per cent said MPP Mitzie Hunter, who is expected to jump into the race, is best for the job.

The only two candidates who have actually declared their intention to run for leadership had the smallest levels of support, with Michael Coteau polling at five per cent and Stephen Del Duca at 3.3 per cent.

A majority of Liberal voters — 54 per cent — were not tallied because they are unsure who the next leader should be.

The poll is based on automated phone interviews done on May 21 and May 22. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 per cent and is accurate 19 times out of 20.

Mainstreet Research told HuffPost Canada that it included Tory as an option for Liberal leadership because another poll released two weeks ago indicated that he would be the front-runner if he ran.

“We were curious to see if the level of support for Tory was the same that [Corbett Communications owner] Mr. Corbett found earlier,” Mainstreet Research vice president Joseph Angolano said in an email.

Mayor Tory is focused on leading Toronto.John Tory spokesman Don Peat

Tory’s office told HuffPost he doesn’t want the job.

“Mayor Tory is focused on leading Toronto - the job that he was elected and re-elected to do,” spokesman Don Peat said in an email.

The mayor was involved in provincial politics in the mid-2000s but he was not a Liberal. He led the Progressive Conservatives.

Earlier On HuffPost: