Rob Ford approval continues to drop

| Filed under: Toronto

Race is now between Chow and Tory

TORONTO June 6th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 944 Toronto voters, approval of Mayor Rob Ford has achieved a new historic low, and he is no longer a contender in any of the tested mayoral match-ups.

Tory has highest approval; Ford lowest

John Tory has the approval of more than two thirds who have heard of him (68%), and he is followed closely by Olivia Chow (64%). Just more than half approve of David Soknacki (54%), while fewer than this approve of Karen Stintz (46%). Just more than one quarter now approve of Rob Ford (28%) and this is the lowest we have recorded his approval since he was elected in 2010. Approval of John Tory is characteristic of the oldest (76%), the wealthiest (74%), residents of Etobicoke/York (73%), those who drive to work or school (75%), property owners (74%) and college grads (73%). Chow's support is common to the youngest (78%), females (69%), the least wealthy (76%), those in the downtown (77%), transit users (74%), renters (74%), the best educated (post grad - 69%) and mothers with kids (76%). Stintz sees her approval come from the youngest (52%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 51%), in the downtown (52%) and Etobicoke/York (51%), college grads (55%) but not especially among the all-important mothers with children group (41%). David Soknacki takes his support from younger groups (35 to 44 - 64%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 62%), downtown residents (65%), transit users (57%) and the best educated (post grad - 57%).

Ford no longer a contender in mayoral races

In a five way match in which all the major contenders run, including Rob Ford, Olivia Chow wins with close to 4-in-10 votes (38%) to 3-in-10 for Tory (28%). In this race, Rob Ford takes one fifth of the vote (20%), and David Soknacki (5%) and Karen Stintz do not contend (4%).

In a four way race without Mayor Ford, Chow wins again with 4-in-10 votes (40%) to one third for Tory (33%). Soknacki (5%) and Stintz (4%) trail.

In a three way race in which just the major contenders run, Chow takes more than 4-in-10 votes (42%) to 3-in-10 for Tory (30%), Ford is third with just less than a quarter of the vote (22%).

In a straight-up two way race between John Tory and Olivia Chow, the latter wins with close to half the vote (47%) to 4-in-10 for Tory (39%). In this race, one seventh don't know who to support (15%) and these are mainly Rob Ford supporters.

Ford with highest negatives, Soknacki with lowest

More than half of voters say they would never vote for Rob Ford (57%), followed by one seventh who would never vote for Chow (15%). John Tory (6%), Karen Stintz (5%) and Soknacki (3%) attract few negative votes. Ford supporters would never vote for Tory (23%), Chow (24%) or Stintz (16%). Tory supporters will never vote for Ford (59%) or Chow (29%). Chow voters will never vote for Ford (85%). Stintz supporters will never support Ford (86% - caution, small base size) while Soknacki's supporters will not vote for Chow (34%) or, to a lesser extent, Ford (23%).

Ford Nation dips below a quarter of voters

In a new low, fewer than one quarter of voters will vote for Rob Ford in October (with no candidates mentioned - 22%) and this is down from the last time we polled (May 21 -25%). Those who will still vote for him include mid age groups (35 to 44 - 27%), males (27%), the less wealthy ($20K to $40K - 34%) in North York (29%) and Scarborough (32%) but not especially on his home turf in Etobicoke/York (20%). Also voting will be those who drive to work and school (26%), the least educated (31%) but not mothers with children (17%).

Two thirds continue to think Mayor should resign

Two thirds of voters think the Mayor should resign (63%) and this has not changed in the last two waves of polling.

Building civic infrastructure, completing DRL keys to an effective mayor

When asked the most important thing a mayor could do for a city, twice as many say "champion civic infrastructure" (30%) as provide any other answer (keeping taxes low- 17%, caring for the most vulnerable - 15%, cutting waste - 11%). Rob Ford supporters choose keeping taxes low above all other considerations (45%). Chow supporters opt for championing civic infrastructure (37%) and caring for the most vulnerable (27%). Tory supporters also pick civic infrastructure (36%) as the most important thing a mayor can do. Stintz supporters pick civic infrastructure and cutting waste, while Soknacki supporters pick civic infrastructure and preserving the city's character. Just one twentieth of the Mayor's supporters think championing civic infrastructure is important (5%).

When voters are asked which one promise would make them vote for a mayoral candidate more than any other, the leader is completing the Downtown Relief Line before anything else (23%), and this is followed by reducing property taxes (17%) and cutting the size of council (10%). Mayor Ford's supporters care most about taxes (33%) and reducing the size of council (26%). Chow's supporters care most about building the DRL first (29%) followed by something other than the promises listed (25%). Tory supporters will respond to building the DRL (24%), but also reducing taxes (14%), imposing term limits and eliminating the Land Transfer Tax (11% each). Stintz supporters react well to the DRL as do Soknacki voters, but Soknacki also prompts mention of term limits for mayor and council.

"It's becoming clear that without his bully pulpit at city hall, Rob Ford is a relatively marginal player in the municipal arena, and the momentum is now with Chow and Tory. His approvals continue to decline and Ford Nation continues to shrink, so there will be a lot of rebuilding to do when he returns," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.