Outside of the Queen's Park bubble, most Ontarian voters aren't following the news concerning Progressive Conservative nomination contests, according to a new poll from Forum Research provided exclusively to QP Briefing.
Of those who said they have been following the news — which includes a police investigation, allegations of ballot tampering and intimidation, and discontent among the grassroots — only about a third said it's made their opinion of leader Patrick Brown worse.
Forum Research polled 981 Ontario voters on Aug. 23 and 24, asking, "Based on what you have seen or heard, how aware are you of any news related to the Ontario Progressive Conservative candidate nomination process?"
They found 13 per cent of voters said they're "very aware," 30 per cent said they're "somewhat aware," 30 per cent said they're "not very aware," and 22 per cent said they're "not at all aware." Another 5 per cent weren't sure.
Voters who said they support the PC party were more likely to say they're somewhat or very aware of the news — 52 per cent of PC supporters said so, compared to 32 per cent of Liberal fans, and 41 per cent of New Democratic boosters.
Of those 43 per cent of total voters who said they're somewhat or very aware of the news, 19 per cent said what they've seen or heard has made their opinion of Brown "considerably more negative," 17 per cent said, "somewhat more negative," 12 per cent said, "somewhat more positive," and 6 per cent said, "considerably more positive."
But the plurality of those — 46 per cent — said the news made their opinion of him "neither more negative nor more positive."
Meanwhile, Tory supporters said they don't hold the news against the PC leader as much as the supporters of other parties do. Among PC supporters, 9 per cent said the news made their opinion of Brown "considerably more negative," and 13 per cent said, "somewhat more negative."
Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, said in a statement that the polls show "a considerable portion of Ontarians have heard about the Progressive Conservative’s nomination problems," but it's not currently affecting Brown's provincial standing, adding, 'but the longer this process, which is supposed to be relatively simple, remains in the headlines, the more likely it becomes that the issue will hurt his election prospects.”
The poll has a margin of error of three per cent, 19 times out of 20.
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