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Ontario Tories lead Liberals in popular support: poll

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.”

Bozinoff also said the Liberals are having a hard time putting the gas plants scandal behind them.

“It took them a year to get out of this and they just got out of it a month ago, and now they’re right smack in the middle of it again.”

On Wednesday, Wynne vowed to take the next step in her threatened libel notice against Hudak if he doesn’t apologize over what she says were defamatory comments about the two cancelled GTA gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.

Hudak has accused Wynne of being behind a plan to wipe computer hard drives in the premier’s office to hide documents related to the gas plants.

Wynne filed the libel notice against Hudak on April 4. She wants Hudak to retract his statement suggesting she was involved in the deletion of hard drives.

The cancelled gas plants in 2011 cost taxpayers $1.1 billion.

With files from The Canadian Press