An Angus Reid Internet Poll shows the Tories marginally ahead in Ontario, with the most likely outcome of October's election being a minority government:
The poll, conducted last month by Angus Reid Strategies, shows the provincial Conservatives with 34 per cent support, the Liberals with 33 per cent and the New Democrats with 19 per cent support – among decided voters.
In addition, the Greens are at 11 per cent, their best showing ever.
Frankly, it would serve McGuinty's bunch right if they lost this one. While his government has had its accomplishments (Ontario Green Belt legislation, four years of peace with the teachers and public sector unions), it has been more noted for its broken promises and sheer inertia. Furthermore, one thing McGuinty's bunch does not seem to have learned is that you break all your promises and generally do the unpleasant stuff early. Heading into 2007, we see it offering pay raises to MPPs while telling minimum wages earners to get stuffed, and allowing smoking rooms in government run casinos while telling private bar owners to send their customers out into the snow.
Hell, last I heard, McGuinty may not even have a balanced budget to show Ontarians this year.
Furthermore, I am disturbed by the Liberals apparent strategy, which at the moment seems primarily negative:
Accordingly, the Liberals plan to "define" Tory themselves, and in the details of the Angus Reid poll it is easy to see what picture they will paint.
The poll shows that 46 per cent of respondents agreed (and 34 per cent disagreed) with this statement: "If John Tory's PCs were elected into government, they would govern in the same way as Mike Harris' PC government."
In practice, "defining" John Tory means releasing the mud monster and letting him hurl slime for the next six months. If so, a replay of the DiNovo by-election, writ large, is not out of the question.
My internal political barometer right now is pointing to "hold your nose and vote Liberal", with a few quiverings towards "Fuck 'em, let's try Hampton". If McGuinty has nothing more to offer than the sight of Kinsella out there smearing the opposition, that might change.