Majority favours reducing council size

| Filed under: Toronto

Majority favours reducing council size

More than half want term limits for mayor and councillors

TORONTO December 29th - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 802 Toronto voters, the majority favour the idea of reducing the size of City Council to 22 wards and councillors to correspond with provincial riding boundaries (52%). Just one quarter oppose the idea (27%). Opposition to this cost reduction move is common to the youngest (33%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 33%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 34%), in the downtown and Eat York (37%) and among Olivia Chow voters (53%). These findings are comparable to the last time we asked this question (November 2014, reduce council size to 22 councillors/wards - 56%).

Majority wants term limits for mayor and councillors

The majority of voters want to see term limits for the mayor (56%) and slightly more see the need for term limits for councillors as well (60%). Fewer than a third disagrees with either position (32% and 30%, respectively). Interest in term limits is common to the mid aged (45 to 54 - 67%), the wealthier ($80K to $100K - 65%) and Doug Ford voters in the last election (68%). These findings are consistent with the last time we asked this (December 2014, term limits for mayor - 57%; term limits for councillors - 60%).

Approvals high for Tory, solid for Saunders, poor for Rob Ford

Mayor John Tory has very high approvals, and three quarters think he’s doing a good job (75%). This compares favourably with last month’s tally (77%). Police Chief Mark Saunders has the approval of one half of voters (48%%) and a net favourable rating (approve minus disapprove) of a very positive +24. Councillor Rob Ford has the approval of just one third (34%), and his net score is a negative -11. Chief Saunders’ approval has declined slightly since last month (November 16 - 52%), while Ford’s has as well (from 38%).

“Torontonians are adamant, and have been since we started asking about council size. They see 44 councillors as unwieldy and they understand the logic of matching provincial riding boundaries. As for term limits, they are convinced these are a good idea, although those who voted for Olivia Chow clearly don’t think so,” 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.