A poll by Forum Research sheds some light on just how deeply the gas plants email trial has penetrated Ontario's political consciousness, finding half of Ontario voters say they couldn't confidently describe why two former senior Liberal staffers are on trial.
The poll, provided exclusively to QP Briefing, shows the trial of former McGuinty staffers Laura Miller and David Livingston, each charged with breach of trust, mischief in relation to data and misuse of a computer system, is a mystery to many. Miller and Livingston have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In a poll of 946 Ontario voters, Forum asked: "If a friend asked you to explain why these former staff are on trial, how confidently would you be able to answer?"
Only 23 per cent of responded "completely confident." Another 26 per cent were "somewhat confident," 23 per cent were "not very confident," and 28 per cent where "not at all confident."
In general, men tended to be more confident, women less so: 59 per cent of men said they're either "completely" or "somewhat" confident, while 41 per cent they were "not very" or "not at all." Women, on the other hand, were split 38 - 62 on the issue. Self-identified Progressive Conservative supporters were more confident (60 - 40) than supporters of the Liberal party (36 - 64), the NDP (45 - 55) and the Green Party (51 - 49).
“The public’s understanding of the gas plants trial is evenly divided,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, in a press release. “Interest is clearly divided along partisan lines, with Progressive Conservative Supporters saying they are particularly well-informed, and Liberals saying the opposite.”
Forum also found Ontario Progressive Conservatives are maintaining a healthy lead in the province, with 45 per cent of decided and leaning voters supporting the Tories, 24 per cent supporting the Liberals, 22 per cent supporting the NDP, 7 per cent supporting the Greens and 2 per cent choosing another party.
The poll was in the field on Oct. 24 and 25, right on the heels of a judge's decision to acquit two Liberal political operatives in the Sudbury bribery trial.
“The PCs continue to hold a big lead across the province,” Bozinoff said. “Despite the positive outcome for the Liberals in Sudbury, it hasn’t yet changed any minds, and as the election creeps closer and closer, it seems like the PCs are going to need a major stumble to give the Liberals a chance at re-election.”
Forum says results based on the total sample are considered accurate within a margin of error of +/- 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
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