Tory edges Chow if Ford doesn't run
TORONTO July 2nd, 2014 - In a
random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1182 Toronto
voters two days after he returned from two months in rehab, Rob Ford has seen
his approval and electoral chances equal the lowest point noted since we began
tracking. Meanwhile John Tory has seen his numbers improve, edging him forward
in races where Ford does not compete.
Tory's approval is tops, Ford's stable
at the bottom of the heap
Among the vast majority who are aware of him (95%), as many
as two thirds have a positive opinion of John Tory (63%), while the vast
majority aware of Olivia Chow (97%) give her approval ratings just below this
(57%). The wide majority have heard of Karen Stintz (84%), but just 4-in-10
give her their approval (41%). While fewer have heard of David Soknacki (63%),
they give him a slightly better approval rating than Stintz (44%). Rob Ford's
approval is still about 3-in-10 (31%), similar to last week (32%).
Chow leads when Ford runs
In the all-important five-way mayoral electoral match up,
with all key contenders, Chow wins with more than one third of the vote (36%)
to more than a quarter each for Tory (27%) and Ford (26%). Soknacki (4%) and
Stintz (3%) do not contend, and few are undecided (4%).
In a four-way match up, without Rob Ford, John Tory (38%) ties
Olivia Chow (36%), while Stintz and Soknacki (4% each) aren't in it. In this
race, as many as a fifth remain undecided (18%), and these are most likely to
be Ford supporters (52%).
In a three-way race between just the main contenders, Chow
wins with close to 4-in-10 votes (38%), while Tory ties Ford (30% to 28%). Once
again, few are undecided (4%).
In a straight two-way race between Tory and Chow only, Tory ties
Chow (42% to 40%), while one fifth are undecided (18% in total, 49% among Rob
In the question which determines membership in Ford Nation (“Will
you vote for Rob Ford in the municipal election in October or not?" with
no other contenders mentioned), the mayor has slipped to one quarter this week
(25%) from close to 3-in-10 last week (29%).
One quarter will vote for Ford if he
remains clean and sober
A very similar proportion to Ford Nation (26%) say they will
vote for Rob Ford if he remains clean and sober until the election (26%), while
two thirds will not give him this chance (67%). Few don't have a view (6%).
Majority do not expect mayor to stay
clean and sober
Just one quarter expect the mayor to stay clean and sober
until election day in October (26%), compared to close to 6-in-10 who think he
will not (57%). One eighth are unsure (16%). Even among those who approve of
Rob Ford and will vote for him, just two thirds think he will remain clean and
sober (62% and 64%, respectively). Among these two overlapping groups, as many
as one fifth expressly do not believe the mayor will make it clean and sober to
the election (17% and 18%, respectively).
Calls for mayor to resign are up
Close to two thirds now want the mayor to resign (62%), up
from fewer than 6-in-10 last week (June 24 - 58%).
Most watched return speech, few
More than 6-in-10 Toronto voters watched or listened to the
speech the mayor gave upon his return on Monday, June 30 (61%), but, of these,
just one third say this speech was a satisfactory explanation and apology for
the mayor's behaviour (34%), while 6-in-10 did not find it satisfactory (60%).
Few have no opinion (3%).
Few think Ford can be effective mayor
Just one third think Ford can be an effective mayor, given
that he is a recovering alcoholic who will always be battling his disease
(34%), while 6-in-10 think he will be ineffective as a result (61%).
Few want mayor's duties,
responsibilities returned to him
Two thirds do not believe the mayor should have his stripped
responsibilities returned to him now he has completed rehab (63%), while about
one third think he deserves them back (32%). Few do not have an opinion (5%).
The mayor's support continues
to lie among the youngest, least educated and less wealthy in Scarborough (and
North York), but not downtown, and among drivers but not transit users. These
groups will continue to vote for him, approve of him, want his powers returned
and think he can be an effective mayor despite his affliction. This core group
is getting smaller, however, and where it once represented a third of Toronto
voters, now may represent about a quarter. If Ford doesn't run, half his
supporters may not vote, and the other half may migrate to John Tory, which
will give him a slight edge over Olivia Chow. If the mayor runs, however, Chow
has an advantage.
"One would expect to see
a “dead cat bounce” in his ratings created by the mayor's return, but that has
not been the case. On the other hand, we may be seeing the beginning of Ford
Fatigue, in which the constant controversy is just being tuned out by most
Toronto voters," said Forum
Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (416)