Doug Ford is on track to be the next premier of Ontario, if an Ipsos poll conducted for Global News is accurate.
According to the poll released Thursday, Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party is maintaining its lead over the governing Liberals in Canada’s most populous province.
Ford is the populist politician and brother of the late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who built a right-of-center coalition dubbed “Ford Nation.” Doug Ford won the leadership of the Ontario Tories last weekend in a close race with three other rivals.
Ford is committed to rolling back several controversial policies of the current government, including a sex education program that many parents find too graphic and too approving of any sexual activity.
Ipsos Global Public Affairs CEO Darrel Bricker says Ford has a commanding lead in Toronto and the surrounding area, where most Ontario elections are won or lost.
“I think it shows pretty clearly the desire for change is so strong that even somebody as controversial as Doug Ford doesn’t seem to be a deterrent to people voting for the Conservative Party,” Darrell Bricker told Global News, adding, “I think the safest way to put it would be they’ll be knocking on the door of a majority.”
The poll found 39 percent support for the Conservatives, 32 percent for the Liberals and 25 percent for the quasi-socialist New Democratic Party. The poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The provincial election is scheduled for June 7 this year.