Metroland News Service Dalton McGuinty (right) gives a short press conference as Eric Davis looks on.

Only two premiers ranked lower than Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in terms of approval rating, according to numbers released by AngusReid on Monday.

And approval of McGuinty’s performance is tied with one premier – Quebec’s Jean Charest – who just lost his seat and resigned.

Thirty-two per cent of respondents said they approved of McGuinty’s performance, while 60 per cent of respondents said they disapprove.

Only British Columbia’s Christy Clark (28 per cent) and Nova Scotia’s Darrell Dexter (26 per cent), both facing difficult elections in 2013, had lower approval ratings.

Prof. Richard Nimijean with Carleton’s School of Canadian Studies said he believes the low approval rating is reflective of “broader political dynamics” in the province.

"In the big picture, it could influence some of the parliamentary goings on in terms of will one of the opposition parties or both of the opposition parties try to get an election." - Carleton University Prof. Richard Nimijean

“McGuinty is down to presumably his base now,” Nimijean told Metro Ottawa on Monday.

“What is interesting is who has gone up, and it’s Andrea Horwath, who has shot up massively.”

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak boasted the exact same approval rating as McGuinty, while almost half of respondents approved of the opposition NDP’s leader Andrea Horwath (49 per cent).

The NDP are also fresh off a surprising by-election victory in Kitchener-Waterloo last week – historically a conservative riding.

Nimijean said the tough words McGuinty had for public sector unions – coupled with legislation aimed at limiting teachers’ ability to strike – in the lead up to that by-election has left him little room to maneuver on the left.

“McGuinty, I think, is in a tough spot,” said Nimijean.

“You can’t give up the centre-left to the NDP because it’s just too big.”

The poll surveyed 1,030 voting-age Ontarians between August 21 and August 27, with a 3.1 per cent margin of error.

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