One day it's a PC majority, the next it's the Liberals riding to victory. Ontario election 2014 is doing little to boost our faith in public opinion surveys. The polls may be all over the place, but it's not too early to spot trends. Here's where the pollsters stood as of press time Wednesday afternoon.
Predicting Liberal majority (maybe).
Key metric Upswing in likely voters who say they'll cast their ballot for the Liberals; Tory support dipping to 30 per cent after sitting at 35 per cent in an Abacus poll only days earlier.
Methodology gap Abacus's was an online survey, which tend to skew right politically, but each of its last three polls has shown a trend: an upward trajectory for the Grits.
Predicting PC majority with 41 per cent of the vote and Libs at 29.
Key metric Three-quarters of voters polled say they want change.
Methodology gap Small sample size (868 voters); margin of error was 4 per cent.
Predicting Liberal majority with 39 per cent of the vote.
Key metric Significant sample size of 1,215 respondents.
Methodology gap The results of the Interactive Voice Response poll are from a random sample of 927 people and were heavily weighted. Most of the other polls are of likely voters. And the 17 per cent NDP support must be a blip, right?
Oracle Poll Research
Predicting PC minority with 36 per cent of the vote.
Key metric Zero margin of error.
Methodology gap The Oracle survey was of likely voters and conducted over four days with live interviewers over the phone, usually considered the best method.
Predicting A toss-up, with PCs and Libs each at 36 per cent.
Key metric Dip for Libs, which polled at 41 per cent in a much earlier Forum survey.
Methodology gap Forum's polls are predicting a Liberal minority when vote concentration is factored into the equation.