As always with polls, take a big pinch of salt before you take them too seriously:
A new poll suggests Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have taken the lead in popular support over the Liberals in the wake of the gas plant scandal, according to a published report.
A Forum Research poll conducted for the Toronto Star suggests Tim Hudak’s Tories have 38 per cent of support, versus 31 per cent for the Liberals. Andrea Howarth’s New Democrats are at 23 per cent.
Two weeks ago, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals led with 35 per cent of support, while the Tories were at 32 per cent and the NDP at 25 per cent.
The surge is attributed mainly to the simmering gas plants scandal.
“It’s almost all due to the scandal over the deletion of those emails concerning the gas plants,” Forum president Lorne Bozinoff told 680News.
The poll also reveals that 45 per cent of those surveyed believe Wynne knew about the alleged deleting of emails related to the gas plants.
It also found that 47 per cent believe she ordered deletions.
“We did ask was the premier aware — a lot of people believe the premier was aware,” Bozinoff said.
“We also asked if people think a crime has been committed and a lot of people also think a crime has been committed.”
Of course, as long as Horwath’s NDP continue to prop up the Liberals, there won’t be a provincial election … and I doubt Horwath sees much chance of improvement over the current poll numbers. The only way the Ontario NDP will topple the government is if the scandal gets worse: the NDP can get more of their agenda passed by the Liberals than they could in a Conservative legislature, but the NDP can’t afford to look as though they’re in any way complicit in covering up wrongdoing — that would offend their base even more than it would offend undecided voters.
Update: This is one of the reasons you need to take poll numbers with a degree of skepticism:
— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) April 10, 2014