Tory Opens 12 Point Lead in Toronto

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Tory Opens 12 Point Lead in Toronto

Chow continues to falter

TORONTO September 8th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1069 Toronto voters, 4-in-10 will vote John Tory (40%), while fewer than 3-in-10 will vote Rob Ford (28%). This represents a widening in Tory's lead from 3 points two weeks ago (August 26, Tory - 34%, Ford 31%) to 12 points today. One fifth will vote for Olivia Chow (21%), and this represents yet another (slight) decline in voter preference for her (from 23%). David Soknacki has one twentieth of the vote (6%), few will vote for any other candidate (1%) and very few have no opinion in the race (4%).

In a three way race where just the main contenders are running, Tory takes 4-in-10 votes (41%), Ford 3-in-10 (30%) and Chow appears to pick up most of the Soknacki vote (24%). 

In a race with just the two leading contenders, Tory takes close to 6-in-10 votes (57%) picking up all the Chow vote, while Rob Ford stays at his apparent ceiling of 3-in-10 votes (30%).


Soknacki's awareness, approval up sharply, now exceeds Chow

Virtually all voters are aware of Tory (95%) and Chow (98%), and their approval is relatively steady from two weeks ago (August 26, Tory - 63%, Chow - 49%) to today (Tory - 65%, Chow - 50%). David Soknacki, on the other hand, has seen his awareness jump from two thirds (67%) two weeks ago to three quarters today (78%) while his approval now exceeds that of Chow (was 48%, now 58%). One third approve of Rob Ford (34%).

Ford Nation tops out at 3-in-10

Three-in-ten voters will vote Rob Ford with no other contenders mentioned (29%) and this is the question that determines the size of Ford Nation, which has shrunk slightly in the past 2 weeks (from 33%).

Tory now leads on all attributes, including budget, Chow trails Ford

For every attribute of a good mayor we tested, John Tory leads the pack, and this includes being best able to handle the budget (Tory 36%, Ford 33%, Chow 16%, Soknacki 10%), an attribute which used to be Ford's alone. Tory is clearly seen to have the best vision for the city (Tory - 36%, Ford 29%, Chow - 21%, Soknacki - 8%), is best able to get council working together (42%, to 20% for Ford and 22% for Chow) and is most likely to leave the city in better shape than he found it (Tory - 38%, Ford - 27%, Chow - 21%, Soknacki - 7%).

Building transit most important task for mayor

Building transit is seen to the most urgent issue in the mayoral race (37%), with keeping taxes low seen as crucial by about half this proportion (17%) and rebuilding Toronto's image seen as key by a tenth (11%). Other issues are not seen to be as important, including protecting existing services (9%), caring for the vulnerable or cleaning up city hall (8% each) or eliminating waste (6%). Among Tory supporters, key issues are building transit (46%), and few other issues are mentioned (rebuilding city's image - 15%, keeping taxes low and cleaning up city hall - 10% each). Ford supporters are equally concerned with low taxes (32%) and transit (29%) and little else. Chow supporters have a wider range of concerns (transit - 30%, caring for the most vulnerable - 22%, protecting services - 14%, keeping taxes low - 13% and rebuilding Toronto's image (10%).

John Tory is clearly solidifying his lead as the campaign rolls into its final month, and he now leads on the attribute of handling the city budget best, which always used to be Rob Ford's strength. This may be an indication that voters are finally paying attention to the "Ford Math", which rarely adds up, according to the experts," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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