With Mayor Rob Ford’s return to Toronto City Hall imminent, a new poll finds his approval rating has gone up slightly since June 6.
According to the latest Forum Research poll, conducted for the Toronto Star, Ford’s approval has risen from 28 per cent — the lowest since he was elected mayor in 2010 — to 32 per cent.
Of the mayoral candidates running against Ford, John Tory had an approval rating of 61 per cent — down from 68 per cent in June — followed by Olivia Chow who dropped seven points to 57 per cent. Ex-Scarborough counciller David Soknacki also went down seven points to 47 per cent, while Coun. Karen Stintz fell five points to 41 per cent.
Forum CEO Lorne Bozinoff said Ford has seen an improvement since the last poll.
“Even though the mayor [has] not been around for the last little while, he’s come from third back into second place,” Bozinoff told 680News.
However, the poll reveals that if an election were held today, Chow would get 34 per cent of popular support, followed by Ford with 27 per cent, Tory at 24 per cent, with Soknacki and Stintz at six per cent and three per cent, respectively. Six per cent of respondents “don’t know.”
Popular support for Ford improved considerably from 20 per cent in the June 6 poll. Chow’s and Tory’s approval rating went down four points, while Soknacki was up one point, while Stintz fell one point.
There were also fewer calls for the mayor to resign, according to the poll. In the last poll, 63 per cent of respondents said they wanted him to resign; however, this time around, that number dropped to 58 per cent, or six in 10 voters.
Respondents were also asked which mayoral candidate would best handle the city’s budget. Ford was out front with 31 per cent, followed by Tory at 27 per cent and Chow at 26 per cent.
Chow led on other attributes, including having the best vision for the city, while Tory and Ford came in second and third place, respectively. Tory and Chow were closely tied for getting council to work together. Respondents also felt Chow would leave the city in better shape than Ford and Tory.
Mayor Ford returns to work on Monday after a two-month rehabilitation stay to deal with an alcohol problem. He is undergoing treatment at the GreeneStone facility in Muskoka.
The randomly-selected poll of 890 Torontonians was conducted on June 23 in an interactive voice response telephone survey. The results are considered accurate plus or minus 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Read the complete poll results below:
Forum Research poll: June 23
Olivia Chow releases Ford attack ads
Meanwhile, ahead of the mayor’s return to city hall, Chow has released some new campaign ads.
Dennis Pilon, a political science professor at York University, said Chow will do better with Tory and Ford in the mayoral race since that would split the Conservative vote.
“It is no surprise that Chow is aiming her guns at Ford. She needs Ford to stay in the race,” Pilon told 680News.
Listen to the ads below:
With files from Irene Preklet, 680News