SPACING POLL: Which party will you support in provincial election?

Queen's Park, circa 1918

On September 10th, the provincial election will official kick-off (and starting Thursday, Spacing’s election coverage begins on Spacing Votes). Most polls have the Liberals in front at 40%, the PC at 35%, the NDP hovering between 15 to 20%, and the Greens running at 8 to 10%.

But we’re more interested in seeing where the political lines are drawn amongst Spacing readers. So, which political party do you plan to vote for in the upcoming provincial election?


  1. I’m probably not going to find a lot of support for this assertion, but I can’t help but feeling like the NDP have given up in Ontario.

    Howard Hampton has been an uninspiring leader for as long as he’s been leader. Filled with more bluster than substance, he’s led his party to neither victory, nor the opposition. The party, of which I am a former member, seems to be content with their near obliteration at the hands of strategic voting over the past 2 elections.

    All of this stems from my gut feeling that the NDP will be wiped away in this election. Although I am glad to hear them offering the right kind of support for Toronto, I can’t help but feel that this election is already won (by the Liberals) and that the time is right for another 3rd party. In this case, the Greens.

    If someone out there can assuage my fears of an NDP rout, I would be glad to hear your arguments. For the time being, I thinking I’ll be going green. I won’t spend a vote on the Liberal just so Toronto can “maybe” get some money out of them and the Conservatives should know that it’s too soon for them to be forgiven; regardless of how much John Tory publicly disagrees with Mike Harris policies. I used to do shows at the Albany Club and I’ve seen the pictures of them being all chummy back in the “Good Ol’ Days”

  2. The Greens have some good policies (like on public schools) but they are losing some good people to the Liberals. If they can’t persuade people like Kate Holloway that their time is coming, how will they persuade the electorate?

    If you want to support Greens, voting yes on MMP is arguably a bigger help than a vote for the local candidate in this election, because that will be the way the Greens’ first seat, and thereby credibility and presence in future leaders debates, is likely to come.

    I don’t like MMP personally, I don’t think it’s the best system, but it sure beats FPTP in ensuring more opinion count.

  3. Josh, although the last 12 (maybe even 17) years have been bad for the Ontario NDP, I would think that anyone who has supported the NDP in the past would be a little foolish to throw in the towel now (presuming they’re still aligned to the principles the NDP espouses.) If Hampton has ever had a decent opportunity to make gains, it’s this election. I say this for a few reasons:

    1) Strategic voting likely won’t be as much a factor as it has been in the last two elections because the Liberals are in power and John Tory isn’t using CSR-like rhetoric. Plus, with the exception of a couple issues, the Liberals and Tories are running on incredibly similar platforms, leaving more room on the left for Hampton to occupy.

    2) Because of their success in the by-elections since 2003, the NDP under Hampton has as much momentum as it ever has, especially because they beat off the Liberals in two ridings that, at one time, seemed impossible for the NDP to penetrate.

    (I realize my momentum comment is all relative but it seems to be making a difference in Toronto voters’ minds with the NDP at 25% and climbing in the Big Smoke and Hampton himself is reported to have a little more spring in his step since the polls began improving.)

    3) When Ontario manufacturing jobs start to erode, the NDP historically does better in southwestern and northern Ontario and that’s what’s happening right now.

    4) The NDP is the only major party that has (or likely will) come out in support of MMP, which will probably help attract voters from outside their traditional base of support.

    So this isn’t to say that I’m predicting any sort of NDP sweep to power or even that Hampton will occupy the office of the Leader of the Official Opposition but I do think the NDP is in a position to gain seats and, very possibly, hold the balance of power in a minority legislature if they can pry seats away from the Liberals and Tories.

  4. Josh, I understand your frustration, but why are you equating the Greens with the NDP? They don’t share many things at all in terms of policy.

    Aside from the issue of the environment, I really don’t understand why the Greens have a label of being ‘progressive’.

    Being environmentally conscious does not = being progressive on other issues.

  5. I’m likely to vote against the Liberals, rather than for another party. Frankly, some new blood, if only for one term, might do the province well. Though undecided, I’m generally leaning conservative or green.

  6. Here’s the way I see it:

    1) MMP will only benefit the Greens and the NDP, it will make politics in the province much more difficult and I can’t see the public wanting to wait weeks and sometimes months before a government can come together in a coalition only to see it fall a few months later. FPTP isn’t the greatest but I would argue that at least you get a chance to “sweep in and out” a party and make some noticeable change.

    2) The PC would be leading every poll right now if it wasn’t for their ridiculous idea of extending religious funding to schools. I went to a catholic school and while it was alright, I wish the province would foresake tradition and just create one big public school system.

    3) How the Liberals are slightly leading at this point is short of miraculous. I’m originally from Brampton and living there you’d never know the Liberals did anything for the city because they completely ignore Peel Region and just focus on Toronto and some other suburbs like York Region – where Sorbara is from. I think the Liberals have to go, they’ve done enough damage.

    4) The NDP, I think, could really win this election if they dusted off some of their old policies like the public auto insurance system. I think it’s irresponsibvle for them to upload everything from the cities and they won’t have enough money to pay for the services they uploaded and will have to be downloaded again at a later date.

  7. At least the Ontario NDP are not the Federal NDP , I could never vote for those nasty people again.

  8. If someone can explain how the NDP is “progressive” I will gladly go back to supporting them. The more I learn and understand, the more antiquated their ideas become. If we didn’t have a Green Party, I probably wouldn’t be voting at all.

  9. Perhaps you could help us answer by explaining what you mean by progressive, Shaun.

  10. Rob: I don’t agree with your ideas about MMP. In the places where it has been enacted, coalition governments have managed to work together to get a lot done.

    There is less incentive to give up and have another election, as the election lacks the lottery aspect of FPTP. It is more productive to work things out.

    I am a huge supporter of voting reform, as I feel it would be more engaging for voters.

  11. 1)MMP. The argumunts against MMP (including the ones listed here) are all ridiculous and are symptoms of either ignorance or intentional misleading. I have participated in many online debates this week about MMP and discovered that almost everyone who opposes it hasn’t actually looked into it very far. (Or they are just Liberals or Tories scared of change.) The proposal was recomended by over 90% of a randomly selected group of citizens representing a variety of ages, ethnicities, ideologies and voters from every single riding. Doesn’t that tell you something? Check out Every single scare tactic is disproven there, with ease.

    2) Polls. Instead of asking “Which party will you vote for?” or “Which Party Will You Support”, I’d like to see the media ask “Which party DO you support” or “Which party would you most like to win”? The difference is that the first questions (including the one in this poll) will incorporate people’s strategic votes. For example, If I lived outside the downtown area I’d probably be voting liberal. But the party I’d like to vote for would be NDP or Green. Let’s take strategic voting out of polling by asking which party people like the most, not which one they’re voting for.

    Although…if we had a mixed proportional system (see item #1) then people would be able to vote for the party they actually like. what a crazy idea.

  12. I just found these interesting notes as I was searching for polling results on MMP.

    I guess that I have seen it as being a potential improvement, but one that would delay real democratic improvement for many many years. We need a mechanism that most clearly and accurately reveals the preferences of the population, and puts a relevant group into the legislature. That is probably something more like preference voting, where the votes for the last place candidates are re-allocated to the voters’ 2nd choices until one candidates has 50%+ and is the clear winner.

    MMP basically guarantees the top few NDP and more than a few PCs and Liberals from the party lists will be elected–regardless of their suitability at all. We all know that there are people who will vote for if it ran a parking meter or fencepost with a wig. The parties know that, and will have no incentive to put up clean lists of candidates, at least until after those who are considered certain to be elected.

    MMP will help Green (which I have voted the last few times) but will also help the anti-abortion people and other more narrowly focused groups. Look at the fringe and not-so-fringe people who are Pro-Life, and believe that they will get 1-2 or even 3 MPPs by MMP if it should pass. Are they going to be rational and build coalitions to get things done?

    Look at how well proportional voting it works in Italy — how many Prime Ministers have they had since 1946? Does that work? Is that what we want?

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