Patrick Brown’s leadership win boosts NDP numbers,...
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May 13, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Patrick Brown’s leadership win boosts NDP numbers, poll shows

Patrick Brown’s ascension to the Progressive Conservative throne has given a boost to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, a new poll suggests.


Patrick Brown’s ascension to the Progressive Conservative throne has given a boost to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, a new poll suggests.

In the first public-opinion survey since Brown won the Conservative leadership Saturday, Forum Research found the left-leaning New Democrats appear to be benefiting from the right-winger’s victory.

The NDP was at 36 per cent compared to 33 per cent for Brown’s ‎Tories, while Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals were down to 24 per cent and Mike Schreiner’s Greens were at 5 per cent.

That’s a change from a similar poll two weeks ago that had the Tories at 36 per cent, the Liberals at 29 per cent, the NDP at 24 per cent, and the Greens at 9 per cent.

“Patrick Brown is a bit of a conundrum,” Forum president Lorne Bozinoff said Tuesday.

“He hasn’t shared any policy yet and he’s playing his cards very close to his chest when it comes to his beliefs.

“We can see, however, that his supporters have some very firm ideas about their values,” he said, referring to some Brown backers who oppose abortion and believe in creationism.

Using interactive voice-response phone calls, Forum surveyed 1,001 people across Ontario on Monday and results are considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Bozinoff extrapolated this week’s results to project that the Tories would win 49 seats in the 107-seat legislature, the NDP 40, and the Liberals 18.

The Grits currently have 59, the Tories 28, and the NDP 20.

“A PC minority would in all probability lead to a co-operative government of some kind between the two opposition parties,” he said, noting historic voting patterns suggest the Tories could win more seats with less support than the NDP.

Forum also polled on a number of social issues because Brown is pro-life — though he has pledged not to re-open the abortion debate if elected — and voted against same-sex marriage as an MP.

He also has a high-profile creationist supporter in MPP Rick Nicholls (Chatham—Kent—Essex) and has expressed concern about Ontario’s new sex-education curriculum that is opposed by evangelicals and some other religious groups.

Forum found 63 per cent of those polled were pro-choice and 23 per cent pro-life with 8 per cent saying “neither of these,” 3 per cent didn’t know, and 3 per cent preferred not to answer.

On same-sex marriage, with which Brown insists he has no issue, 65 per cent approved, 25 per cent disapproved, and 9 per cent didn’t know.

Asked about creationism, 61 per cent agree with Darwin’s theory of evolution, 21 per cent disagree, and 18 per cent didn’t know.

And on the sex-education curriculum, 45 per cent approved, 36 per cent disapproved, and 18 per cent didn’t know.

Toronto Star

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