A new poll released by the Innovative Research Group on Tuesday has found the Ontario Liberal Party to be surging ahead of Premier Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives, with the Liberals now holding a five point lead in the province.
The poll found the Liberals leading the Progressive Conservatives by five percent, while the PCs remain up by four percent compared to the provincial NDP.
It also found that Premier Ford is facing his lowest popularity rating since the beginning of the pandemic, even as Ford himself remains the top choice to remain as Premier.
While 36 percent of Ontarians approved of the way in which the Ford government was handling the pandemic prior to the third wave, that number has since dropped to 30 percent. However, the number of voters who say that the pandemic restrictions established by the government are either too loose or too tight has remained largely steady.
The poll signifies a steep drop in support for Doug Ford's PCs as the province struggles to contain a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The party has also come under intense criticism for what has been described as authoritarian measures to contain the virus, including the shuttering of public outdoor recreational facilities and an expansion of police powers which the government has since walked back on.
A poll taken just two weeks earlier found the PCs continuing to maintain a commanding lead over their competitors in the province. The Ontario Liberals appear to have benefited most from the PC's falling polling numbers.
Meanwhile, another poll released on Wednesday from Abacus Data found the PCs and the Liberals to be in a statistical tie.
Overall, the numbers represent the lowest support for Ford and the PCs since the beginning of the pandemic, with Ford returning to the low approval ratings which characterized the earlier days of his administration.