By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday October 8, 2014
Poll suggests Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott leads Ontario PC race
Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott is the front-runner in the race to lead the Progressive Conservatives, a new Forum Research poll suggests.
Ms. Elliott and fellow female candidate Lisa MacLeod (Nepean-Carleton) are ahead of their three male rivals as the Tories seek a successor to Tim Hudak, who led the party to defeat at the hands of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in June.
Ms. Elliott was at 14 per cent, compared to 9 per cent for Ms. MacLeod. MP Patrick Brown, who has said he will not resign his federal seat in Barrie unless he wins the May 9 provincial leadership, was at 5 per cent followed by MPPs Vic Fedeli (Nipissing) and Monte McNaughton (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) at 4 per cent apiece.
Some 19 per cent said they would prefer a different candidate while 43 per cent were not sure.
“They need a major refresh — they’ve got to have learned that,” Forum president Lorne Bozinoff said, noting the Conservatives “didn’t do that well among women” voters on June 12.
“So it’s not that bad of an idea,” he said, pointing out the Tories’ main opponents are (Ms.) Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
Using interactive voice response phone calls, Forum surveyed 1,079 people with results considered accurate to within three percentage points 19 times out of 20.
Ms. Elliott, 59, enjoyed an even larger lead among respondents who identified themselves as Conservatives.
Of the 367 Tories polled, 24 per cent supported her and 11 per cent backed Ms. MacLeod, 39, the only candidate yet to officially enter the contest.
Six per cent picked the 36-year-old Mr. Brown, 5 per cent opted for Mr. Fedeli, 58, while 3 per cent selected Mr. McNaughton, 37. Twenty per cent preferred “someone else” and 30 per cent weren’t sure.
Even though that’s a smaller sample, Mr. Bozinoff said “if this were a delegate survey, it might look like this.”
“Some of this guys just don’t have major profile — like Patrick Brown and Monte McNaughton,” the pollster said (Source: Durhamregion.com)