Not only is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's approval rating down, but New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Olivia Chow would defeat Ford in the next mayoral election, according to a new poll by Forum Research.
Olivia Chow for mayor? Is the mayor losing support from Torontonians? Do taxpayers want a subway-based transit plan as opposed to an aboveground LRT-based transit strategy? These are only some of the questions asked in the latest Forum Research survey.
In February 2011, Mayor Ford had a strong approval rating of 60 percent. As the months have gone by, the numbers have plummeted to record lows for the former Etobicoke Councillor. The latest poll found that Ford’s approval rating stands at 42 percent, which is down from 45 percent a few weeks ago.
The mayor has the most support in in Etobicoke and York as well as the older demographic. He also maintains significant support by Ontario Progressive Conservative voters and those who drive in Toronto. Only 43 percent of Scarborough voters support Ford.
Chow vs. Ford
Last month, there was intense speculation that New Democratic Party MP Olivia Chow would throw her name in a bid for city hall in the mayoral election, scheduled to be held in 2014. If a municipal election were held today, Chow would trounce Ford 58 percent to 34 percent.
If it were a three-way race with Ford, Chow and Councillor Adam Vaughan, it would be a tie between Ford and Chow, but Vaughan would garner only 21 percent of the vote.
Members of Canadian Parliament, Bob Rae, Olivia Chow, Jack Layton demonstrated with Torontonians and Tamils against the Sri Lankan Internal Displacement Camps.
Majority of Chow’s support came from younger Torontonians, females, NDP supporters and those who use TTC as their primary form of transportation.
"It is clear that injecting Olivia Chow into Toronto's mayoral politics would be an upset, but what is not clear at all is whether there is strong public support for Chair [Karen] Stintz's ambitious transit plan," said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research, in a news release.
Subways, OneCity, Downtown Relief
“Subways, subways, subways.” Those were the words of the mayor during the special city council transit debate held earlier this year. It looks like he has the backing of most Torontonians as 58 percent support a subway-based transit strategy as opposed to 35 percent who want LRTs.
When it comes to TTC Chair Karen Stintz’s OneCity plan, half of downtown is split, while the rest of Toronto, including Etobicoke and Scarborough, do not support it (31 percent, 40 percent). Ontario PC voters and supporters of the mayor are more likely to oppose OneCity.
The next subway project that Toronto is yearning for is a Downtown Relief Line (DRL) as more than half want a DRL under King and Queen Streets – only 26 percent disapproved of this plan. Younger Torontonians, all income brackets, residents of the former City of Toronto and East York and Ontario Liberal voters support a DRL.
This Interactive Voice Response telephone poll was conducted with 1,212 randomly selected adult Torontonians between Jun. 25 and Jun. 28. It maintains a margin of error of +/- 2.81 percentage points.