Ranked ballot strongly preferred to First Past the Post

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Ranked ballot strongly preferred to First Past the Post

Most want shorter campaign, fewer councillors

TORONTO NOVEMBER 25th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 950 Toronto voters, two thirds approve of a ranked ballot in municipal elections (64%) compared to fewer than half who approve of the current First Past the Post system (45%).

Preference for a ranked ballot is characteristic of younger adults (35 to 44 - 73%), CBC viewers (70%), those who don't watch TV (75%), those who voted for Olivia Chow (72%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 70%), those who bicycle or walk to work or school (74%), the best educated (post grad - 70%), readers of the Toronto Star (71%) and the Toronto Sun (74%).

First Past The Post is preferred by Progressive Conservative supporters (60%), the least wealthy (52%) and the wealthier ($80K to $100K - 50%), those who drive to work or school (51%), the least educated (52%), those with children (50%) and readers of the National Post (57%).

Most think mayoral campaign too long

Two thirds of Toronto voters think the mayoral campaign is too long (64%), compared to fewer than a tenth who think it too short (8%). One quarter think it's the right length (25%). When asked how long a shortened mayoral campaign should be, most think three months is appropriate (26%), followed by those who think six months works (15%). About the same proportion each, a tenth or so, thinks the campaign should be either one month (6%) or more than six months (5%).

Majority want a council of 22 wards and councillors

More than half of Toronto voters want to see the number of wards in the city cut in half to match the 22 provincial and federal ridings (56%). Just 3-in-10 prefer the current council of 44 wards and councillors (30%). About one sixth don't have an opinion (14%). Doug Ford supporters are the most likely to agree (67%) while Olivia Chow voters are least likely (38%). Readers of the National Post (66%) and the Toronto Sun (76%) are especially likely to want a reduced council, as are those who drive to work and school (678%) and property owners (62%).

Rob Ford's, John Tory's approval steady from before election.

Just more than one third of voters approve of Rob Ford (36%), and this compares favourably with the last time we rated his approval on September 22 (39%). John Tory's approval is also stable (55% on October 14, 53% today).


One half are happy with election outcome

One half of Toronto voters are happy with the way the election played out (50%), while just more than a third are unhappy (36%). Those who are content with the outcome re most likely to be the oldest (65%), males (58%), downtowners (56%), viewers of CFTO (64%), CBC (56%), provincial Liberals (63%), the wealthiest (66%), property owners (58%), the best educated (post grad - 62%), readers of the Star (70%), the Globe and Mail (80%) and the National Post (68%). Even among readers of the Sun, approval of the election outcome is more than half (54%).

"There is a clear ideological split in Toronto when it comes to municipal governance; the self-described downtowners, who watch CBC, read The Star and voted Chow want a larger council and a ranked ballot, in other words, more inclusive representation. Those who don't necessarily share the downtown ethos, drivers, PC voters, readers of the Sun and Post who supported Doug Ford for mayor are more interested in the current First Past The Post electoral system and a smaller council, in other words, streamlined administration. As for reactions to the election outcome, the usual suspects are happy; older wealthy males who drive to work or school, in other words, a mix of the two groups just described. This was the secret to John Tory's success - he appealed to a segment of the conservative Ford vote, while also being the choice of the downtown elites," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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