Opinion Split on Tolls for Gardiner, DVP

| Filed under: Toronto

Opinion Split on Tolls for Gardiner, DVP

Mayor Tory’s approval down

TORONTO November 25th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 730 Toronto voters the evening after Mayor John Tory announced his support for tolling the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway to pay for transit projects, there is an exactly even split in opinion on the idea. Just fewer than a half approve (46%) and the same proportion disapprove (45%). One tenth don’t have an opinion (9%).

Approval of tolls is characteristic of the oldest (59%), the very wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 57%), the best educated (post grad - 52%), those who commute by public transit (50%), those who approve of John Tory (58%) and who voted for him or Olivia Chow (56% each).

Disapproval is common to the mid aged (45 to 54 - 52%), the least wealthy (50%), mothers with children under 18 (50%), private vehicle commuters (60%), those who disapprove of John Tory (67%) and those who voted for Doug Ford in 2014 (61%).

Of those who approve of the mayor, 3-in10 oppose the tolls (31%), as do 4-in-10 of those who voted for him (38%).

More than half would use these highways less or not at all

In total, more than half (54%) would use these two highways less (31%) or not at all (23%) if they were tolled. The plurality, close to 4-in-10, claim their usage would not change (38%)..

4-in-10 less likely to vote Tory in 2018 if tolling occurs

Just less than 4-in-10 voters are less likely now to vote for John Tory for mayor in the municipal elections of 2018 if the tolling occurs (38%), while about one fifth are more likely to vote for him (21%). The plurality, one third, are no more nor less likely to vote for the mayor than they were before the tolling was brought up (36%). In other words, more than one half won’t change their vote or will change it to Tory (57%).

Being more favourable to the mayor is typical of the oldest (31%), males (25%) rather than females (18%), the wealthiest (28%), the best educated (post grad - 29%), those who already approve of the mayor (29%) and those who voted for him (30%).

Saying one is less likely to vote John Tory if the tolling occurs is characteristic of mid aged voters (35 to 54 - 46%), lower income groups ($20K to $40K - 46%), those with the least education (46%), private vehicle commuters (49%), those who disapprove of the mayor (62%) and Doug Ford voters (62%).

Mayor’s approval down

The mayor now has the approval of just more than 6-in-10 Toronto voters (61%), compared to more than two thirds approval just ten days ago (November 16 - 68%). Approval is common to the oldest (69%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 69%), mothers of children under 18 (61%), those with college or university degrees (65%) and those who voted for him (77%). Among these Tory voters, just more than one quarter now disapprove of his performance (23%).

“This is good news for the mayor. For a perennially unpopular idea like road tolls to receive approval from almost half the voters, and to be tied with those who disapprove is unheard of. And while the mayor has seen some of the shine come off his lofty approval ratings with this announcement, he really doesn’t risk losing that much of his past vote in the coming election, and he still manages more than half the electorate’s support. It may be that Torontonians have finally come to realize this city has to start paying for itself,” 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.