Councillor Adam Vaughan? No. Former Budget Chief Shelley Carroll? Nope. What about John Tory? Not quite. New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Olivia Chow? It seems she is the only one that can defeat Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in a mayoral race.
Forum Research released a poll Friday that looked at a future mayoral race involving Mayor Ford, Councillors Adam Vaughan and Shelley Carroll, Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz, NDP MP Olivia Chow and former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory. It found that Ford would beat everyone, except for Chow.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaking the proclamation of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at a Toronto PFLAG rainbow flag-raising event at city hall.
The mayor would be reelected in varying three-way and four-way combinations, but without Chow. Once Chow’s name was thrown into the mix with survey respondents, she became the clear favourite to lead Canada’s largest city.
In each of the races, Chow garnered between 37 percent and 42 percent support and would defeat Ford by at least six points and as high as nine points.
It is still unclear if a by-election will be called – the mayor’s conflict-of-interest ruling appeal will be heard on Jan. 7 and judges will decide weeks later. The next mayoral election will take place in 2014 and many have speculated Chow and Vaughan would run, although Chow has dismissed claims and Vaughan has not talked about it openly.
“I love Toronto. It’s my home. And it’s important that Toronto gets to focus on the work that’s important in front of them,” said Chow last month in Ottawa, according to Global News. “Mr. Ford’s matters are in front of the court again and I’ll consider what role I might play when the courts make this decision and city council’s deliberation. I hope the matter gets resolved quickly because it’s important that Toronto get back to work to build a city that’s prosperous and caring.”
A significant number of Toronto residents support the idea of a by-election if Ford is indeed ousted from office. Nearly half (42 percent) prefer a by-election, a little more than a quarter like Deputy Mayor Doug Holiday taking the reins until 2014 and 20 percent want someone else.
Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz (file photo).
Ford was permitted to take part in a by-election and has vowed to run for office again.
This isn’t the first poll to find that Chow is a heavy favourite if she chooses to run in a mayoral election. Previous Forum Research studies have found that Chow would win in any match-up in a future mayoral race.
The Forum Research survey was conducted with 897 adult Torontonians on Dec. 14. It contains a margin of error of +/- three percentage points.