By Gerry Barker
May 31, 2018
The Tuesday edition of the Guelph Tribune carried a Page One story that was based on a poll of 668 persons in Guelph.
It claimed that the Green Party candidates Mike Schreiner, was leading with 31.7 per cent in the Guelph provincial election race.
The methodology used was the pollster’s use of a daily tracker system operated by Mainstreet Research.
In second place, at 28 per cent was NDP candidate Agnieszka Mlynarz.
PG candidate Ray Ferarro followed at 25 per cent and Sly Castaldi, representing the Liberals was rated at 11.9 per cent’
It isn’t clear when this poll was conducted or what the content of the question or which party may have commissioned it. Polls do cost money.
But Mainstreet Research conducted another province-wide poll that was published Tuesday, May 28.
The City of Toronto’s section of the Mainstreet Research poll stated the NDP has 40.9 per cent support while the PC’s revealed 28.7 per cent, the Liberals with 25.5 per cent. And the Green party? Just 3.2 per cent.
If this is accurate in the City of Toronto, then much of that Liberal support that elected Kathleen Wynne four years ago may have swung over to the NDP. It’s hard to believe that the PC’s only have 28.7 per cent when it’s the heartland of Ford Nation.
But let’s look at another specific area in the Mainstreet Research’s provincial poll.
In the GTA, the PC’s are leading with 42.1 per cent. Next is the NDP with 32.4, The Liberals at 18 per cent and the Green Party at 5 per cent.
This poll seems closer to other polls in term of the possible outcome.
Starting to see if you believe in polls, precision is replaced by forced predictability. Even the candidates keep saying the real poll is Election Day, June 7.
Here’s one more area pollsters measured of interest to Guelph voters, South Central Ontario. Here we find the NDP with a commanding lead at 50.3 per cent. The PC’s are second at 34.6 per cent. The Liberals are holding at 6.9 per cent. The Green Party having 3.8 per cent. Note the total falls short of 100.
If anything is consistent it’s the voter rating of the Green Party that in three major regions of Ontario is stuck around 4 per cent.
Here we have two polls conducted by the same polling firm that indicate the high rating of the Greens in Guelph is skewed when the large data shows the Party has little support across the province.
How is this possible? Is Guelph an Island in the Green wave that will not form a government in Ontario? So why does one poll, conducted by the same polling company differ so widely with the candidacy of Mike Schreiner?
Leading the Guelph race according to the daily tracking poll with 31.7 per cent the Green Party has barely budged holding at 4 per cent support across the rest of the provincial ridings.
Did that pro-Schreiner editorial published in the Toronto Star influence the majority of Guelph voters to support the Green Party? More important, why would they support the party of David Suzuki, the millionaire voice of gloom and doom about the planet. Wonder how much he was paid to address some 300 partisans at a recent Schreiner rally in Guelph?
Guess it depends on your interpretation of “Green.”
There is no doubt that Mr. Schreiner has run a campaign that is well-funded and when the campaign finance statements are published there will be some surprises of who funded whom.
One has to wonder how the NDP brain trust, after working on the party platform for two years, could make an error of $1.4 billion in its costing of the platform. If you can’t do the math preparing a platform then, how can the NDP be trusted to run the complex finances of the province?
For a lot of people this is a hold-your-nose election.
In my opinion, for our city it is a watershed event. The millions that have been spent in Guelph on failed environmental projects in the past 11 years, reveals it is not necessary to give away our power distribution system for pennies on the dollar.
It does not mean we should turn over control of Guelph Hydro, indulge in building District Energy systems to attain energy self-sufficiency and provide a thermal system to supply hot and cold water to five downtown buildings.
It is vital for all citizens who will cast their ballots on June 7 to elect the candidate who understands our city, has lived in the city all his life, has served on council and worked with the city to develop both residential and industrial projects. Ray Ferraro is that man and the only experienced candidate when elected, will work tirelessly for Guelph in the Ontario Legislature.
He is the only candidate that can, along with his PC colleagues, bring change, responsible fiscal management and prosperity not only to Guelph but the province.
So, the polls are not what they pretend to be. Consider bias, misinformation by respondents and a river of news reports and partisan commentary that, depending on your preference, often get it wrong.
This, I predict, will be our day where party loyalty will be a soufflé of switches, misses and, hopefully a renaissance of recovery for Ontario.