With the province seemingly ready to vote out the Liberal party in the upcoming June election, a Forum Research poll conducted on March 11th, the day after Doug Ford was announced the PC leader, concludes the 416, which is traditionally a Liberal stronghold, could start turning Tory.
Most notably, numbers suggest Kathleen Wynne’s riding in Don Valley West might go blue.
In all, Forum concludes 15 seats may go into PC hands in the 416, there is currently one.
The 15 ridings are:
- Don Valley East
- Don Valley North
- Don Valley West
- Etobicoke Centre
- Etobicoke North
- Scarborough Centre
- Scarborough North
- Scarborough Rouge Park
- Scarborough Southwest
- York Centre
The 416 hasn’t seen this many Conservative seats since Mike Harris was premier in 1995 and 1999
This spells trouble for the Liberals.
“If they start to lose seats in Toronto the whole province is going poorly for them,” says Forum pollster, Lorne Bozinoff.
“If it’s a battle ground, it’s bad for the Liberals,” he added. “Because they need a battleground outside of Toronto if fighting in Toronto is going to be a tough road to hoe for them.”
A defeat for Kathleen Wynne in her own riding would be humiliating, but Bozinoff cautions not to read too much into the Don Valley West numbers.
He says Wynne’s name recognition is worth ten points and could push her into victory in her riding.
However, if you don’t factor in the premier’s name recognition and high profile the Tories have 47 per cent vs 41 per cent for the Liberals in Don Valley West.
Back in 2014 the Liberals won 57 per cent of the vote in Don Valley West vs 31 per cent for the Tories, which shows how much ground the grits have lost.
Jon Kieran is running against Wynne for the PC party.
Wynne could be facing a major backlash in her riding over the sex ed curriculum.
It is where many protests were held against it at Thorncliff Park public school. Hundreds of children were kept home and parents held their own classes with them in a nearby park.
On Monday, Doug Ford told CityNews that he would win “the biggest majority this province has ever seen.”
Bozinoff says a Tory sweep is possible but adds the fear factor that comes with Doug Ford could actually energize Liberal and NDP voters to rally, and with the election less than three months away anything can happen.