Defiant Ford says no change in strategy despite slip in polls

Defiant Ford says no change in strategy despite slip in polls
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The Progressive Conservative leader, who appears to have lost the massive advantage he held in most surveys, insisted Friday he is “running a strong campaign.”

“You know something, I never pay attention to polls. I’ve said that from day one — the only poll that counts is on Election Day,” he said.

Ford’s comments came as Forum Research released a survey that showed the NDP at 47 per cent, the Tories at 33 per cent, Kathleen Wynne’s governing Liberals at 14 per cent, and Mike Schreiner’s Greens at 4 per cent.

Similarly, EKOS Research on Friday found the NDP at 40.9 per cent, the Tories at 30.9 per cent, the Liberals at 18.9 per cent, and the Greens at 7.1 per cent.

Earlier this week, Pollara had the NDP at 38 per cent, the Tories at 37 per cent, the Liberals at 18 per cent, and the Greens at 5 per cent.

Ford, who is tightly scripted with limited media access — an approach modelled on former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s campaigns — bristled at suggestions he has been repackaged and reined in.

“I’m always anti-politician. I’ve never changed. I’m the same person. It’s all about respecting the taxpayers, always taking care of the little guy,” said the former Toronto councillor.

“That’s who I am. Nobody’s going to change me,” he said.

“We’ve run an extremely good campaign . We’re getting incredible responses across Ontario. We’re getting record crowds (at nightly rallies). People are excited. People want change. People want relief.”

Mindful that Horwath is his greatest obstacle to power in the June 7 election , Ford stressed that compared to Wynne’s Liberals “the NDP would be 10 times worse with their radical activist candidates .”

“It’s scary to even think what the NDP government would do to this province. It would absolutely destroy it,” he said.

“We’d go back to the Rae days, people would be getting laid off ... you’d have mandatory work off.”

That’s a reference to former NDP premier Bob Rae, who governed from 1990 to 1995 and instituted unpaid furloughs for public servants to save jobs during an economic recession.
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