Dalton McGuinty's Ontario Liberals still command a lead in advance of next year's Ontario Provincial election, according to a Leger Marketing poll done for The Hamilton Spectator. The new poll gives them 39% of the vote Ontario-wide, versus 35% for John Tory's Tories and 20% for Hampton's NDP.
In the important vote-rich 905 "donut" surrounding Toronto, the Grits have 43%, compared to the Tories' 38% and the NDP's 12%.
However, around Hamilton/Niagara, the figures are reversed, with the Conservatives enjoying a 44% to 26% lead over the Libs, with the NDP trailing at 24% support. According to Leger pollster Craig Worden
...the only issue...that could be affecting Grit fortunes in Hamilton is the native occupation of a Caledonia housing development.
However, the odds are that this will fade as an issue by the time election day in October of 2007 rolls around.
Dalton McGuinty has been disappointing in many ways as Ontario Premier, having broken any number of promises on issues ranging from the Environment to Taxes. The fact that he hasn't paid (much of) an electoral price is testimony to Ontario's love of "low key", "non-confrontational" government. Every time Dalton reneges he says "sorry" and moves right along. Better than "standing on principle" and plowing forward despite the consequences, I suppose. People saw enough of that during the Mike Harris years, where there was a teacher's strike or an environmental disaster kicked up by some piece of Tory legislation every 25 minutes, and at the end of 10 years we were still up to our ears in red ink.