Tory advances on Chow in mayoral race
TORONTO MAY 2nd,
2014 - In
a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 888 Toronto
voters the day Mayor Rob Ford announced he is taking a leave of absence to deal
with his substance abuse problem, fewer than 4-in-10 approve of the job he is
doing as mayor (38%), and this is down sharply from two weeks ago (46%). In the
meantime, approval ratings for John Tory have increased (from 65% to 69%),
while those for Olivia Chow are stable (60% to 58%). David Soknacki has the
approval of more than half (56%), while Karen Stintz posts a score just under
half (47%). Awareness of all candidates is at 8-in-10 or more, except for David
Soknacki (57% aware).
Tory closing gap with Chow
In a five way race (including Rob Ford, assuming he
returns), Olivia Chow would win with one third of the vote (33%), closely
followed by John Tory with more than a quarter (27%). Rob Ford would take just
more than a fifth (22%), while Stintz (6%) and Soknacki (5%) trail. These
results represent an increase for John Tory (from 24%) and a corresponding
decrease for Rob Ford (from 27%). Few have no opinion (7%).
In a four way race in which Rob Ford does not contend, Tory
(32%) and Chow (34%) are essentially tied, while Soknacki and Stintz are as
well (at 6% each). In this race, without Ford, close to one quarter would not
have an opinion (22%).
In a three way race in which only the top candidates
(including Rob Ford, should he return) contend, Chow wins with 4-in-10 votes
(40%) to 3-in-10 for Tory (29%) and one quarter for the mayor (25%). Once
again, few are undecided when Ford is included (7%).
Tory, Stintz only second choice
In a highly polarized field, only John Tory (15%) and Karen
Stintz (14%) are seen as acceptable second choice candidates. Among Rob Ford
voters, very few have a second choice, and most say they don't know (86%).
Stintz voters are most likely to vote John Tory second (14%), while Tory voters
are most likely to also vote Chow (25%), followed by Stintz (18%) and Ford
(13%). Karen Stintz (27%) and John Tory (33%) are the second choice of Chow
voters, while Soknacki's supporters are especially unlikely to support any
other contender (90% don't know - caution, small base size).
Ford with highest negatives, Chow too;
Rob Ford has the highest negative score (52% would never
vote for him), followed by Olivia Chow (22%). Ford voters are least likely to
vote for Chow (51%), followed by Stintz (16%) and Tory (12%). Stintz voters are
most likely to say they will never vote for Ford (50%). Tory voters will never
vote for Ford (54%) or Chow (30%), which places them in the centre of the
ideological spectrum. Most Chow voters will never vote Ford (87%), while
Soknacki voters also shun Ford (64% - caution, small base size), followed by
Tory and Chow (13% each).
Ford Nation shrinks
One quarter of voters say they will vote Rob Ford in the
municipal election (with no other contenders mentioned - 25%), and this is down
from 3-in-10 two weeks ago (April 15 - 29%) and from close to 4-in10 in
Strong approval for Mayor's leave
Approval of Mayor Ford's decision to seek help in rehab is
almost unanimous (87%) and doesn't meet the approval of just 1-in-20 (6%).
Approval is highest among the Mayor's supporters (93%) and those who will vote
for him (92%).
Two thirds think Mayor should resign
Close to two thirds of Toronto voters think the Mayor should
resign (63%), and this is similar to levels noted last year (December, 2013 -
60%) and previously. Of note, 1-in-7 Ford supporters think he should resign
One third will vote Ford if he's clean
One third of Toronto voters will vote for Rob Ford in the
next municipal election if he goes to rehab and gets clean (no other contenders
- 32%). This includes one quarter of Stintz supporters (27%), one eighth of
Tory supporters (16%) and as many as one third of Soknacki voters (33%-
caution, small base). This proportion hasn't changed overall since last year
(Nov. 2013 - 34% will vote if attends rehab).
“It appears there is finally a limit to what Ford Nation will
stand for, and the mayor may have passed it. If he doesn't rejoin the race,
John Tory is the beneficiary, as Ford voters will not vote Chow. Her support is
focused at the left hand end of the political spectrum, whereas Tory appeals
across the middle. Nonetheless, the mayor's decision to seek help has touched a
strong sympathetic nerve, especially among his supporters," said Forum Research President, Dr.
Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum
Research. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (416)