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Tory would beat Ford in mayoral election: poll

Toronto is more than a year away from the next municipal election, and a new poll suggests things might look the same in 2018.

John Tory should not have much trouble getting re-elected against Doug Ford, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds Torontonians would easily elect Tory, with one big caveat.

“John Tory has nothing to fear from a one-on-one match-up against Doug Ford,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet research, “but things get much more interesting if there’s a strong progressive candidate in the race.”

Against Ford, Tory wins easily with a 27-point lead (including undecided voters) but the lead is cut by 20 points to just seven points if he were to face both Ford and city councillor Mike Layton.

“It’s clear that if both Layton and Ford were to run that Tory would be in trouble, at least initially,” Maggi said in a statement.

“None of us can guess how a mayoral campaign might turn out and what missteps the candidates could make. In a three-way race with Layton and Ford, Tory receives 35 per cent [of the vote], Ford 28 per cent and Layton 26 per cent. it’s a situation in which any of the three could ultimately win the campaign. The risk for progressives is a strong campaign from the left could mean the election of Doug Ford as mayor and vice-versa the risk for ‘Ford Nation’ is that Ford’s candidacy could lead to a mayor further to the left than Tory.”

In the chart below, Tory supporters are shown in green, Ford voters are blue, Layton supporters are orange,and undecided votes are in dark blue.

Mainstreet spoke to 1,000 Toronto residents on the phone, both landline and cell phone, on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9. The margin of error for survey results is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Doug Ford, the former one-term city councillor, announced his intention to enter the mayoral race during his family’s annual Ford Fest barbecue in Etobicoke on Friday.

“I’m here to continue on Rob’s legacy … and I just have to say Robbie, this one’s for you,” Ford told the crowd.

The next day, Saturday, Tory said he wasn’t “going to worry about it.”

Tory avoided any mention of Ford by name but referred to the “total dysfunction” of City Hall before he won the mayoral race three years ago.

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