Today we revealed new insights on Ontarian’s attitudes on recent statements made by Doug Ford and Kathleen Wynne during the past few days of the Ontario election campaign.

Just prior to the Ontario Leader’s Debate, Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford came out with a pledge to reduce the floor price of beer at $1.00 plus deposit per bottle/can. During the debate, Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne stated she was sorry people did not like her but that she did not apologize for her policies.

According to research exclusively provided by Eyesover Technologies, Ontarians are more favourable to the PC’s messaging over the Liberal’s. “It appears that the Tories have tapped into a winning message,” said Marcel Wieder, President & Chief Advocate of Aurora Strategy Group. “In contrast, the Liberal message is not being well received.”

Craig Leonard, President of Eyesover, explained the results this way, “Overall, Buck-a-Beer is positive with everyone except people also mentioning Liberals and even then, the sentiment is generally neutral. Conversely, Wynne’s apology is simply creating fodder for those opposed to her, and they are piling on, going so far as to incorporate the phrase into their own expressions of displeasure.”

“At this critical time the Liberal campaign needs messages that resonate with voters,” Wieder said. “The Sorry not Sorry line is challenging for voters to grasp and understand without supporting information. That takes time and resources to deploy, both things in short supply at this stage of the campaign.”

Craig Hughson, Principal at Aurora added, “At this stage of the election, campaigns need to focus on their core messaging. The Conservatives are reinforcing their message of being on the little guy’s side while the Liberals are trying to take the edge off Kathleen Wynne.”

Leonard added, “The attempt to refocus the conversation on accomplishments while at the same time acknowledging the Premier’s personal popularity was a risky tactic that does not appear to be delivering the rebound the Liberals were hoping for.”

Eyesover’s sentiment is measured on a scale of 0-100 with scores over 50 being positive while scores under 50 are negative. The research conducted since May 25, 2018, on the Buck a Beer proposal found the sentiment score was 52.4 among individuals discussing both the proposal and the PC Party in their online comments. When mentioned in conjunction with the NDP, the sentiment score for Buck A Beer was 50.9, while it was 49.4 when the Liberals were discussed. The sentiment was the highest at 59.7 when a specific party was not mentioned.

With respect to Sorry not Sorry, the research was conducted since the Leader’s debate on May 27, 2018, and shows that sentiment scores among those discussing the phrase while also mentioning the Liberals, PCs and NDP at 38.8, 49.1, and 46.9 respectively. Sentiment among comments not mentioning a specific party was 50.2.

“We normally see sentiment scores in the 45-55 range because most online comments we measure are neutral. It takes a significant percentage of negative comments to drive sentiment under 40, so the response to the Premier’s apology is clearly not what the Liberals were hoping for,” Leonard explained.

Eyesover Technologies’ analysis of the Ontario Provincial Election consists of continuously measuring mentions of each candidate and relevant issues from a daily average of approximately 20,000 comments from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit, and translating those mentions into voter support with proprietary algorithms and would not be considered an election survey based on recognized statistical methods. 

Marcel Wieder is an award-winning political consultant. He is President and Chief Advocate of Aurora Strategy Group based in Toronto.