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NDP's refusal to support Liberal budget could backfire: poll

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Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives are leading popular support over the Liberals, and the NDP’s refusal to support the Liberal budget could backfire, according to a latest poll.

The Forum Research poll, published in the Toronto Star on Sunday, puts the Progressive Conservatives out in front with 38 per cent of popular support — five points ahead of the Liberals at 33 per cent, followed by the New Democrats at 22 per cent.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s personal approval rating is down four points as well, which leaves the early impression that her gamble to trigger the election by not supporting the minority Liberals’ NDP-friendly budget could backfire.

Meanwhile, the poll also suggests Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are poised to win a minority government due to regional support.

“The Tory vote is what we call inefficient. It’s piled up in a bunch of rural ridings,” Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff told 680News on Monday.

“The Liberal vote is spread out more evenly, so what it means is they have just enough votes to win some seats, but not a lot of extra, and because of that it’s possible that they could have a lower popular vote but the Liberals could still form the next government.”

The poll is the first one taken since the election was announced on Friday.

Sunday was the first full day of campaigning for the election.

Wynne spent part of the weekend sparring with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government over the proposed Ontario Pension Plan.

Horwath delivered a speech to party faithful, saying the province’s minority government is out of touch with problems faced by people in the province.

PC Leader Tim Hudak kept a low profile on day one, saying he will keep his election campaign optimistic and positive.

Ontarians head to the polls on June 12.

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