Innovative Research, which does do the occasional poll here and there, is the first pollster to come out with a post-Wynne, um, win poll, showing a tight three-way race with the Liberals actually leading it for once.
Innovative Research (Ontario Provincial - January 27-29, 2013)
Ontario Liberal: 31% (+3%) - 46 seats
Prog. Conservative: 30% (-1%) - 33 seats
New Democratic: 27% (-4%) - 27 seats
Green Party: 9% (=) - 1 seat
The changes are from the last Innovative Poll out, which I didn't cover here but Eric Grenier at 308.com did. There are no regionals in this poll, however, so this is simply a basic swing of the entire province - take that as you will.
Innovative has looked into some other interesting things though. One question asked was how certain respondents were to vote for their particular party; the PCs led with 92% certainty (59% very certain, 33% somewhat certain); then the Liberals at 86% (50% very, 36% somewhat), then NDP at 85% (51% very, 34% somewhat), then Green at 74% (46% very, 28% somewhat).
Then Innovative asked for respondent's second choices. For Liberals, 39% say the NDP is their second choice, and 28% say its the PCs; for the PCs, its 32% Liberals then 19% NDP, with 23% not even deciding to vote being the second place second choice for PC supporters. I always suspect that its fairly possible a lot of the turnout drop in October 2011 was actually PC voters, who didn't like Hudak and weren't too threatened by McGuinty; maybe we're seeing evidence of that here as well.
In terms of "party identification," the Liberals lead with 28%, PCs at 23%, Independent at 21%, and Dippers at 16%.
In terms of favourable/unfavourable impressions, Kathleen Wynne is viewed favourably by 36% of respondents, and unfavourably by 12%; 30% don't "recognize" her. Hudak's favourable/unfavourable is 34/29, with 17% not recognizing him; and Horwath's is 37/14, with 31% not recognizing her.
Wynne's favourables aren't too much different from McGuinty's, but her unfavourables are definitely lower; Innovative had McGuinty's unfavourability rating at 55%! Ouch.
In further proof that Wynne may end up being a big positive as well, 24% consider her the "best option for Premier," noting that this same particularly at the expense of Andrea Horwath, who comes in at 13%, down majorly from 21% in an unreleased December 2012 poll.
There's lots of other tidbits in the poll that are interesting, including questions on whether or not Liberal policies are actually "working." Give it a read, definitely worth it.
The consequences of this poll showing what it does - basically, that Wynne as Liberal Leader is pretty much a net-positive right now for us - are too soon to tell. In my opinion, people are likely latching on to Wynne as the not-McGuinty, and it'll take some time before legitimate approval (or disapproval) of her to register. For now, we should count our blessings; as much as I like McGuinty and think he left Ontario with a great legacy, as muddled as it might be, he was definitely something of a drag on the party. We'll see what happens in the coming months.