Wednesday, April 21, 2021

It's Increasingly Looking Like the Green Party of Ontario Needs to Start Talking About New Leadership

Here are the latest polling results from Abacus regarding voter intentions in Ontario. As with other polls from earlier this week, it's not a surprise to see PC support starting to slip - and I think it's fair to say that we'll continue to see slippage going into next week, given the absolute disastrous performance of Ford's government just since Friday at 4:00 PM.

From: Abacus Data - April 21, 2021

But there's another story developing here that I think needs to be examined by Green Party supporters - and that's the complete stagnation of the Green Party of Ontario. The GPO received a little less than 5% of the popular vote in 2018. Most polls are showing Greens somewhere between 5% and 10% - but you've got to keep in mind, Green Parties throughout Canada always over-perform in the polls and under-perform at the ballot box. So when you see 10%, take it with a grain of salt, as our supporters just don't show up at the ballot box.

Green Party hasn't been the only party to experience flat-lined support since the 2018 provincial election. There has been very little movement among any of the parties - up until now. This is the time that we should start to see the Green Party moving up in polling numbers, if it's message was resonating even a little bit with voters. But, so far, nothing.

If Greens can't figure out a way to capitalize on this moment, I don't think they can avoid the conversation for much longer - not if Greens want to elect enough MPP's in 2022 to be recognized as an Official Party at Queen's Park. If what they're doing and saying are good things - but they are still not resonating with the voting public - I think it's time that we conclude that new leadership is probably warranted.

I'm a big supporter of Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner. I think he's done a very good job putting the Green Party on the map and keeping it as relevant as can be throughout these difficult times, when the pandemic has really sidelined many non-government elected officials (Andrea Horwath has almost completely disappeared from the public eye). But it may be Mike has taken the Green Party as far as he can, and if the Party is going to have any hope of growing, it will need to be under new leadership.

I hope I'm wrong about this - I really do hope to see Green numbers start to rise in the polls over the next couple of weeks, coincident with the governing party's loss of popularity. But if we don't - it remains in the realm of possibility that the Green Party can put itself back on track with new leadership in place before the June 2022 election.

It's a conversation Greens need to start having.

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