Poll Position: More Residents Disapprove than Approve of Rob Ford as Mayor
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Poll Position: More Residents Disapprove than Approve of Rob Ford as Mayor

Poll conducted two days after major transit loss at council shows that disapproval of Ford is becoming more entrenched.


Strongly approve: 27%

Somewhat approve: 16%

Neither approve nor disapprove: 9%

Somewhat disapprove: 12%

Strongly disapprove: 35%

Don’t know/no answer: 2%


Approve: 47%

Disapprove: 53%

Poll taken: February 9–10, 2012
Sample size: 1,300
Margin of Error: +/-2.7%, 19 times out of 20
Methodology: Automated telephone poll
Conducted by: Stratcom

NOTES: Polls taken immediately after a major victory or major defeat aren’t necessarily helpful in understanding what’s going on in constituents’ minds. Results are inevitably inflated by recent events; the effect of the victory or loss generally fades somewhat over time, becoming less important in voters’ evaluations a month or a year later. However, insofar as Rob Ford and his allies have been saying that they have strong backing from the people of Toronto—that council’s decision to reinstate light rail as a central element of transit planning doesn’t reflect what “real people” actually want—these results are hardly encouraging. In the press release Stratcom sent out yesterday, they drew attention to the high number of Torontonians who strongly disapprove of the mayor, describing it as a “steady hardening” against Ford. A silver lining for the mayor: his base of core supporters remains steady, at 27 per cent (he was at 26 per cent in Stratcom’s last poll, in July 2011).

The poll, which Stratcom director of research John Willis says was not commissioned by any client, also looks at support for the mayor in different regions of the city. Perhaps surprisingly, given the fact that his transit plan didn’t include any infrastructure for Finch, Ford’s support is strongest in North York: 35 per cent of residents there strongly approve of the mayor (compared to 30 per cent in Scarborough, 29 per cent in his home area of Etobicoke, and 20 per cent in Toronto/York). Disapproval is by far highest in Toronto/York, where 51 per cent strongly disapprove of Ford. And Scarborough—a focus of much of the transit debate, with heated discussion about undergrounding the Eglinton LRT and the viability of the Sheppard subway—is the least sure of the mayor, with 18 per cent saying they neither approve nor disapprove, or that they don’t know what they think of him.

Complete poll results are available from Stratcom.