Chow and Saunders leading potential mayor race

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Chow and Saunders leading potential mayor race

2 in 3 voters (67%) have a preferred candidate before registration opens

Toronto, March 24th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll among 1009 Toronto residents, among decided and leaning voters former city councillor Olivia Chow (24%) and former police chief Mark Saunders (22%) are the leading potential candidates for mayor of Toronto. Overall, 33% of respondents don’t know who they would vote for if the election were held tomorrow. Candidate registration opens on April 3 for the mayoral election to be held on June 26.

Among decided and leaning voters, Chow and Saunders received more support than other potential candidates including current councillor Josh Matlow (18%), MPP Mitzie Hunter (12%), former councillor Ana Bailao (11%), former mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa (8%), and current councillor Brad Bradford (5%). Among decided and leaning voters who voted for John Tory in the last mayoral election, Saunders (31%) is the top choice.

“Name recognition is a likely factor in the levels of support for Chow and Saunders,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. “Other potential candidates will need to rely on campaigning to gain support.”

The cost of living & inflation (23%), housing affordability (22%), and city infrastructure, services & taxes (16%) are the top three most important issues in the next mayoral election among poll respondents. Those aged 18-24 were most likely (40%) to indicate the cost of living & inflation. Crime & gun violence is a more important issue to those who live in York (22%), East York (22%) or Scarborough (21%), compared to other areas of the city (8%-14%).

The poll was conducted by Forum Research with the results based on an interactive voice response telephone survey of 1009 randomly selected Toronto residents over the age of 18, 62% by cellphone and 38% on landlines. The poll was conducted from March 22nd to March 23rd, 2023. Results based on the total sample are considered accurate +/- 3%, 19 times out of 20. Subsample and regional results will be less accurate. Margins of error for subsample results are available at

This research is not necessarily predictive of future outcomes, but rather captures opinion at one point in time. The poll was conducted for the Toronto Star by Forum Research Inc.

With offices across Canada and around the world, 100% Canadian owned Forum Research is one of the country’s leading survey research firms.

Forum Research follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here: