High approval for Chief Blair as he exits

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High approval for Chief Blair as he exits

Most think he should have charged Mayor Ford with drug offences

TORONTO January 25th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 843 Toronto voters, 6-in-10 approve of Toronto’s outgoing police chief, Bill Blair (61%), and the majority (56%) say he was either ‘one of the best” (18%) or a “good police chief” (38%). Just one seventh (14%) think he was “not very good” (11%) or “not at all good” (3%).

Overall approval is highest among the oldest (68%), females (64%) rather than males (56%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 67%), in Scarborough (66%), among John Tory voters (68%) but not, naturally, among Doug Ford voters (47%).

Split opinion on non-renewal of Chief’s contract

While more than 4-in-10 disapprove of the decision not to renew Chief Blair’s contract (43%), just more approve of this decision (46%) for a split decision. One tenth don’t have an opinion (11%). Approval of the decision is higher among the youngest (50%), males (52%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 57%) and among Doug Ford voters (59%).

More than one third would vote Chief Blair in a federal election

More than one third of Toronto voters would vote for Chief Blair if he were a candidate in their riding in the next federal election (36%), while close to half (but fewer than a majority) will not (44%). As many as one fifth have no opinion on this issue (21%). Electoral support for the Chief is common to the oldest (47%), females (40%) rather than males (31%), the least wealthy (less than $20K - 42%, $20K to $40K - 44%), in Scarborough (47%), and among renters (39%) slightly more than among property owners (33%). Chow voters are less likely to trust the Chief with their vote (29%) than are either Ford (35%) or Tory voters (39%).

Majority agree Blair should have charged Mayor Ford with drug offences

The majority of voters (51%) think Chief Blair should have charged Mayor Ford with drug offences while he was in office, and just one third disagree (34%). Between one fifth and one tenth don’t have an opinion (15%). Agreeing the Chief should have taken action is common to the youngest (55%), Boomers (55 to 64 - 56%), females (55%) but not males (46%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 63%), in the downtown (55%) and among Chow voters (67%). Even among Doug Ford voters, close to one fifth agree the Chief should have acted against their candidate’s brother (17%).

"The Chief will leave with his head high. His approval is strong, as many disagree with not renewing his contract as agree and he’s seen to be either a good chief or one of the best. The one thing he might have done to endear himself even more to the city, however, was apparently to bust the mayor when he had a chance," 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.