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Doug Ford still unable to break John Tory’s stronghold in Toronto

The eighth wave of Campaign Research’s poll – an online public opinion omnibus survey conducted among a sample of 607 Toronto voters – found that a sizeable gap (35%) exists in voter intent between John Tory (58%) and Doug Ford (23%). Tory’s voter intent has remained consistently high since June 2017, increasing by 4% (from 54% in June to 58% in October). Our most recent poll data further indicated that Tory’s lead over Ford in this category continued to widen from 25% in June to 35% in October.

Strong support for Tory exists among all age groups, genders and regions. It is also important to note that support for Tory transcends partisanship. In fact, the greatest proponents for re-electing Tory as mayor of Toronto are federal Liberal (76%) and Green Party (57%) voters. Although Tory remains competitive with Ford in terms of support from federal Conservative voters (10% difference), Ford currently leads within this demographic (53%).

Our latest data also indicates that Tory is supported by Torontonians from diverse economic backgrounds. He has a 26% lead over Ford among those who earn between $20,000 to $40,000 annually, a 24% margin of victory among those who earn between $60,000 to $80,0000 annually, and a 51% lead over Ford among Torontonians who fall within the highest income bracket. Conversely, Ford’s greatest support stems from those who fall within the lowest income bracket (37%). There is an observable correlation between Tory’s margin of support and increases in residents’ annual income. Consequently, Ford will have to garner greater support from lower and lower-middle income Torontonians to remain competitive with Tory. Ford’s supporters are not as demographically diverse as Tory voters. Ford voters are predominantly males (25%) between the ages of 18 to 34 years old (34% of Ford voters are 18 to 24 and 29% are between 25 to 34 years of age).

When evaluating regional support, Tory’s voter intent is high in Etobicoke York (62%), North York (58%), Scarborough (63%) and Toronto East York (55%). It is surprising that Ford has not been able to cumulate greater support in Etobicoke and Scarborough – two regions in Toronto which were instrumental in his brother’s, Rob Ford, mayoral victory in 2010 and a sizeable support base in Doug’s failed 2014 election bid.

Since June 2017, Tory’s approval rating has remained consistently high (around 54%). His approval rating only fluctuated 1% to 2% between June and September 2017. Our most recent poll indicated a 5% increase in his approval since June (54% approval in June and 59% in October). One explanation for Tory’s consistently high approval rating may be the popularity of his policies. For example, Tory’s proposal to construct the “Rail Deck Park” – a 21 acre park which will be built over a downtown rail corridor from Bathurst Street to Blue Jays Way – was strongly supported by 28% of resident voters and somewhat supported by 39%. Ford’s approval rating has also remained consistent since June 2017, staying within the 29% to 35% range. However, our most recent poll shows that the gap between Tory and Ford’s approval ratings continues to expand (29%) in Tory’s favour.

“John Tory continues to be popular among Torontonians, which is evident from his consistently high approval ratings among men and women as well as various age groups. ” – Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research Inc.


This online poll was conducted between October 8 and 11, 2017 among a panel of 607 Toronto voters. A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 4%, 19 out of 20 times.

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