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Toronto mayor Rob Ford speaks with Doug Ford during a council meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
Toronto mayor Rob Ford speaks with Doug Ford during a council meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, August 27, 2014.

Rob Ford only a few points behind Tory in new mayoral poll Add to ...

Rob Ford’s support appears to be rising as the gap between him and frontrunner John Tory narrows with two months left in Toronto’s mayoral race, according to a new poll.

The Forum Research opinion survey also found that Olivia Chow’s momentum continues to slip.

The poll, which was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, put support for Mr. Tory at 34 per cent, 31 per cent for Mr. Ford and 23 per cent for Ms. Chow – the three leading candidates.

Three-way race

Random sampling of public opinion among 1,945 Toronto voters five days after Karen Stintz dropped out of the mayoral race.

SOURCE: Forum Research Inc.

The poll suggests Mr. Ford is enjoying support levels not seen since March.

In addition to his rising popularity, fewer poll respondents want Mr. Ford to step down than did in previous Forum Research surveys. Half of Toronto voters said they want the mayor to resign, down from 58 per cent two weeks ago and 63 per cent in early June.

Approval rating

How the candidates' approval ratings have changed since April. Of note: Olivia Chow's declining approval and Rob Ford climbing approval.

SOURCE: Forum Research Inc.

The poll found that Mr. Ford’s support was highest among men, those aged 18-34, residents of Etobicoke and Scarborough, people with a household income between $60,000 and $80,000 and those with a high school education or less.

By contrast, support for Mr. Tory was highest among senior citizens, North York residents, voters with household incomes over $250,000 and those who have gone to graduate school. His support is almost evenly split between men and women.

Mr. Tory said he has no plans to change his strategy after Labour Day when the campaign kicks into high gear.

“I like very much the momentum that the campaign has. People forget that I started in third place in the polls,” he said Thursday.

Mr. Tory said he will continue to focus on issues such as traffic and transit, bringing jobs to the city and his ability to work with council and other levels of government.

“I’m going to continue to talk about those things because I think when people come to choose they will choose on the basis of who is going to be best to do those things, get things done and get results for people,” he said.

Olivia Chow said the results will not change her campaign.

”Polls they go up and down,” she said. “Listen I have been an underdog before and I’ve won eight elections and I can’t wait for the real campaign to finally start after Labour Day. “

Ms. Chow’s support is concentrated among women, those aged 35 to 44, those who live in the old city of Toronto or East York, voters with household incomes under $20,000 and those with at least some college or university education.

Geographic breakdowns suggest that Ms. Chow is struggling to reach voters in the western and eastern suburbs. (However, the margin of error is considerably greater for the regional breakdowns.)

Region

Percentage of voters who say they would chose a specific candidate based on region. Total sample size is 1,945.

SOURCE: Forum Research Inc.

Income

Percentage of voters who say they would chose a specific candidate based on income. Total sample size is 1,945.

Education

Percentage of voters who say they would chose a specific candidate based on education.

SOURCE: Forum Research Inc.

Age/Gender (%)Total18-3435-4445-5455-6465+MaleFemale
Sample1,9451361853735177348501,095
Rob Ford3136273528263429
John Tory3632323942443637
Olivia Chow2626332123222427
Other23111421
Don't know54736546

The poll found support for David Soknacki, considered the other leading candidate, remains low at 4 per cent.

Mr. Soknacki said his future in the race is under constant review, but decided last week with his senior campaign team to continue.

“Yes the results are disappointing - I think more to my team that to myself,” he said. “ We still have a bunch of good ideas and we are going to continue on certainly for the time being.

We still have more ideas with respect to transit, with respect to budget, with respect to savings that I think are important to get out in the public realm.”

The poll, which is based on an interactive voice response phone survey of 1,945 Toronto voters, is considered accurate to within plus or minus two percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Follow us on Twitter: @lizchurchto, @jillsmahoney

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