The Ford government’s approval is slowly bouncing back but it’s still not enough to win over the majority of Ontarians, a new poll finds.
A new Maru Public Opinion poll found the government’s approval rating has gained slight ground from mid-March and April, when a series of missteps and mixed messages drew heavy criticism from the public and opposition.
Currently 46 per cent say they believe the Ontario government is doing a good job, up seven per cent from mid-April when just four in 10 (39 per cent) held that belief.
It’s still a drop from the start of the year when 51 per cent of Ontarians in January said the government was managing the pandemic, and well down from this time last year when 62 per cent thought Premier Ford was doing a good job.
Maru found the premier’s relatively low profile in the three weeks following the disastrous announcement of increased police powers in April, his later apology and reversal of that decision, the implementation of paid sick-leave for workers, and the government finally making a decision on the remainder of the school year, have helped the recent rise in numbers.
Despite the changes made and the rise in approval rating, 52 per cent of Ontarians surveyed still said they believe the government is “doing a bad job.”
But this isn’t the first time the government has struggled with approval ratings. At the end of 2019 and leading into the pandemic in March 2020 Maru said Premier Ford’s approval rating was just 28 per cent.
The poll found that the province’s decision to keep kids out of classrooms for the remainder of the school year helped them gain ground. Seven in 10 people asked said they approved of the decision.
When it comes to how the province has managed the reopening, Ontarians are split. Fifty-two per cent approve of the current three-step phase-in plan for re-opening the economy while 48 per cent voiced their disapproval.
Despite the rollercoaster of approval for the PC Tories, the majority of Ontarians asked said that if they could turn the clock back to the start of the pandemic, they’d vote for them again to lead the charge. When given the option of the four main parties, the Conservatives got 42 per cent of the votes while 25 per cent said they’d have chosen the Ontario NDP, Liberals followed with 24 per cent and the Green Party would get nine per cent.
The Maru Public Opinion poll findings were taken from a survey conducted between June 7 and 8 from 1,156 randomly selected Ontario adults who are Maru Voice Canada online panellists. The poll has an estimated margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, 19 times out of 20.