John Tory enjoys a comfortable lead over both Doug Ford and Olivia Chow in the race to be Toronto’s next mayor, according to a new poll released Monday evening.

The Nanos Research poll for CTV/Globe and Mail says that if the election were held today, 49 per cent of decided “very likely” municipal voters would cast their ballot for Tory. Meanwhile Ford, who entered the mayoral race at the 11th hour after Mayor Rob Ford dropped out to begin cancer treatment, has about 27 per cent support. Chow has about 24 per cent support.

Nanos conducted the survey between Sept. 16 and 20.

The poll shows Tory widening his lead after Doug Ford’s entry into the race.

A Nanos poll released Sept. 2 put Tory at 42 per cent support, with Rob Ford and Chow trailing with 28 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.

Respondents in the new poll were also asked to indicate which candidate would be their first and second choice if the election were held tomorrow.

Ranking the candidates on first choice support among decided voters:

  • John Tory received 49.2 per cent support;
  • Doug Ford received 27.4 per cent support;
  • Olivia Chow received 23.5 per cent support.

About 8 per cent of respondents said they were “unsure.”

The poll also asked respondents about their comfort level with the mayor stepping down from the mayoral race and Coun. Ford stepping in.

According to the results:

  • 31.5 per cent said they were “comfortable”;
  • 9.1 per cent said they were “somewhat comfortable”;
  • 11.2 per cent said they were “somewhat uncomfortable”;
  • 38.9 per cent said they were “uncomfortable.”

Just over 9 per cent said they were “unsure.”

Asked for the reason why they held their opinion, responses varied widely.

Of those who said they were “uncomfortable” with Rob Ford dropping out and Doug Ford opting in, 28 per cent said they “don’t like or trust” the brothers, who have “embarrassed the city.”

  • More than 9 per cent said it was “abusive/manipulative of the system”;
  • More than 10 per cent checked “Inexperienced/not ready/don’t know well enough”;
  • 9.6 per cent said you “can’t pass jobs around the family.”

Of those who said they were “comfortable” with the moves, nearly 30 per cent said it was because they “like the Fords/have similar policies.”

A further 12 per cent called Doug Ford “a strong candidate/capable,” and 10.6 per cent said they are comfortable with the decision “because of their track record.”

The poll was a random telephone survey of both land and cellphones of 1,000 “very likely municipal voters” in Toronto between Sept. 16 and Sept. 20. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.