LILLEY: Poll gives Ford strong support on handling of pandemic

48% of respondents approve of Ford as premier, while 46% approve of his handling of the pandemic this year

Article content

The numbers are surprising but not shocking, Premier Doug Ford has a strong level of support for his decision to keep schools closed until September and his handling of the pandemic in general.

If you were to listen to Ford’s critics — those on the right who say he has abandoned his base or those on the left who think he has botched everything — you might think Ford is destined to lose the next election.

A Maru Public Opinion poll conducted for TVO’s #onpoli podcast tells a much different story.

The poll of 1,156 adults from across the province was conducted from June 7-9 and found that 48% of respondents approve of Ford’s performance as premier.

Just slightly lower proportion, 46%, say they approve of his handling of the pandemic over the last year.

As for the Ford government’s handling of the re-opening — the ever so slow, glacially slow reopening — 52% approve compared to the 48% who disapprove.


Story continues below

Article content

Based on past polling I would bet that more people think Ford is reopening too fast as opposed to too slowly.

This isn’t what you get from the media coverage of Ford’s government on any side but as is often the case, we in the media are detached from reality, living in our own bubble.

Regular people take what we say in newspapers, on radio and TV and come to their own conclusions.

The conclusion of the Ontario electorate is that whether they love or hate what Ford is doing he has performed fairly well by their standards and they would still choose him over the alternatives.

Maru asked those polled who they would pick to take Ontario through the pandemic if they could turn back time. Basically, the question was, would you switch out parties to lead Ontario through the pandemic knowing what you know now.


Story continues below

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

More people chose Ford and the PCs over any other party — and by a fairly wide margin.

At 42% for the Progressive Conservative Party, the PCs have more support than they received in the last election.

The NDP were chosen by 25% on which party would be better to lead Ontario through the pandemic, the Liberals by 24% and the Green Party by 9%.

I know people will claim that this can’t be accurate, that they were not polled, that no one they know likes Ford.

That’s the thing though — this isn’t about how any single person feels about the government it is about how the general population feels.

For all the bashing the polling industry has taken over the last several years, most of it overblown, it is still far more accurate than asking a bunch of journalists what they think or gauging the mood of the province by comments on Twitter.


Story continues below

Article content

Right now, Ford and the PCs have more support than any other party and that includes on his decision around schools.

Ford was slow to get to his decision, he is being overly cautious in my mind but 69% of people in Ontario believe that keeping schools closed to in-person learning is the right thing compared to 31% who oppose the decision.

That is not an insignificant level of support for a decision often described as highly controversial.

We are a year away from an election and as anyone will tell you, a week is a long time in politics, but the idea that Ford and the PCs are doomed to fail next June is not borne out by the facts.

Yes, he will lose some support from parts of the PC base that want him to open up faster and those opposed to the lockdowns in general.

It’s also true that many of the people who approve of his handling of the situation will never vote for him.

Perhaps the bigger take-away from this though is that for all the problems and criticism Ford has faced throughout the pandemic, his opponents can’t rise above 25% support.

The election is a long way off but anyone writing off Ford at this point isn’t looking at the facts.


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
On Key

Related Posts


Russtrat world

USA on the eve of white revenge

MOSCOW, 30 Nov 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute. During the presidency of Donald Trump, so many rules and even taboos have been broken in the American establishment