Incumbents safe in 2 of 3 wards

| Filed under: Toronto

High profile newcomers advance in 2 wards

TORONTO September 9th, 2014 - In a series of random samplings of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ in selected Toronto wards, two of the three incumbents tested were relatively safe in their wards, while both the high profile newcomers were in the lead in wards where there was no incumbent.

Ward 2, Etobicoke North

Among the 396 voters polled, newcomer and Ford family member Mike Ford leads challenger Andray Domise in this ward 50% to 30%, and this is a change from 43% to 24%, noted on July 24. Opinion is firming up in this ward, as the proportion picking "someone else" has declined (from 17% to 10%), as has the proportion who are undecided (from 15% to 10%). Provincial PCs favour Ford (57%) over Domise (23%) but provincial Liberals are more mixed in their support (34% and 39%, respectively).

Mike Ford's awareness has increased (from 63% to 73%) but his approval has stayed at one half of those aware (51% now, 52% on July 24). Andray Domise has seen his awareness increase (from 26% to 40%), and his approval has also increased from about one half to two thirds now (62%).

Ward 7, York West

Among the 214 voters polled here, incumbent Giorgio Mammolitti (37%) and his main competitor, Nick DiNizio (33%) are essentially tied, as they were in July (29% to 27%), and Keegan Henry Mathieu does not contend (9% then, 5% now). One tenth will vote for someone else (12%, stable from 11% in July) or are undecided (12%, reduced in half from 24%).

While awareness of Mammolitti is very high (85% now, 77% in July), just one half approve of him (50% now, 41% in July). Just one third are aware of DiNizio (37%, up from 30%), but his approval is higher at more than two thirds (69%, stable from 72%). Henry Mathieu's awareness and approval are both low (17% and 26%, respectively). Provincial PCs are mixed in their support (Mammolitti - 37%, DiNizio - 31%, caution: small base size) but Liberals prefer Mammolitti (44% to 22%, respectively).

Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina

Among 292 voters, Joe Cressy leads in this ward with half the vote (47%) and none of the other candidates listed breaks double digits (Sarah Thomson - 7%, Mike Yen, Reg Hartt, Anshul Kapoor - 3% each, Nick Wight - 2%). One tenth will vote for someone else (11%) and twice this proportion are undecided (24%). Cressy is strongly favoured by both provincial New Democrats and Liberals.

Three quarters are aware of Cressy (73%) and just fewer approve of him (71%). Awareness and approval of the other candidates listed is low. The exception is Sarah Thomson, a fresh entrant in the race, who is known to three quarters (75%) but is not approved by many (21%).

Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth

More than half the 407 voters polled in this ward will vote for incumbent Paula Fletcher (56%), compared to fewer than one fifth who will vote for either of her main competitors, Liz West (18%) or Jane Farrow (13%). Very few will vote for someone else (6%) or are undecided (7%).

Awareness of Fletcher is almost universal (93%), and approval is high in this group (68%). One half are aware of Liz West (53%) and one half of those aware approve of her (53%). Awareness for Jane Farrow is lower (38%) but approval is very high (72%). Provincial PCs prefer Liz West to Paula Fletcher (53% to 30% - caution: small base size). Liberals and New Democrats strongly prefer Fletcher (50% and 81%, respectively).

Ward 32, Beaches-East York

Among the 496 polled voters, incumbent Mary-Margaret McMahon has a lock on this ward (60%), and former councillor Sandra Bussin is shut out (21%). Few will vote for someone else (7%) or are undecided (11%). This is in comparison to September 2013, when McMahon posted a similar vote share (57%) and Bussin's was somewhat lower (13%). At that early date, fully one quarter said they would vote for someone else (24%), but very few were undecided (5%).

McMahon's awareness is very high (90%), as is her approval (68%). Sandra Bussin, although well known (86% aware) is not well-approved (33% approval). Voters of all political persuasions strongly prefer McMahon to Bussin, but Bussin scores her highest points with provincial New Democrats (33%).


Incumbency is so important in municipal politics, where there are no parties, leaders or platforms. The name on the lawn sign that's best known is going to win. In Ward 2, that's a Ford, any Ford. In Ward 7 and Ward 32, however, the best known candidates (an incumbent and a former incumbent) may be in trouble," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.