Toronto mayoral hopeful John Tory has commanding lead, poll suggests
Published Tuesday, September 2, 2014 6:00PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 3, 2014 7:57AM EDT
With less than two months before the municipal election, Toronto mayoral hopeful John Tory has a strong lead over the other front-running candidates, a new poll suggests.
The Nanos Research poll conducted for CTV News and The Globe and Mail asks decided voters who they would cast their ballot for if an election were held today. Among those surveyed, 42 per cent said they would vote for Tory.
"If there was an election held right now, it would be a Tory sweep, very clearly," Nanos researcher Nik Nanos told CTV Toronto on Tuesday.
Tory's rivals Rob Ford and Olivia Chow trailed more than 10 percentage points behind him, receiving 28 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
The poll also found that the former Ontario PC leader’s support was strong across the city, except in Ford’s stronghold of Etobicoke where the two candidates were virtually tied.
The telephone survey was conducted between Aug. 27 and Aug. 31 and has a sample size of 1,000 Toronto voters. It is considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The Nanos poll also asked respondents if they thought "the reputation of the City of Toronto has improved, been the same, or worsened over the past four years."
More than half of those surveyed said Toronto's reputation had declined (58%) during that time, while 17 per cent said it had improved. Twenty-one per cent said the city's reputation has "been the same" and 4 per cent said they were unsure.
Over the last four years, Ford's tenure of the city's top political office has been dotted with scandals. But it was his shocking admission last November that he smoked crack cocaine in one of his "drunken stupors" that made him the subject of headlines around the world. His missteps, however, did not stop there.
Among his public blunders since last year was the expletive-laden rant about Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair that was captured on video. Ford was also recorded making lewd comments about former mayoral candidate Karen Stintz.
Ford's behaviour has also been mocked by late-night television hosts, including Jimmy Kimmel and Jon Stewart -- perhaps tinting the supposed stereotype that Canadians are pleasant and agreeable.
"We have a stereotype about Canadians being very sedate, reasonable people, laid back," Nancy Isenberg, a professor at Louisiana State University, told CTV Toronto. "So (Ford's behaviour) was I think counter-narrative to that."
With a report from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson and Paul Bliss