In the first poll released since Doug Ford announced he’s running for mayor, John Tory shows a strong lead.
The poll, conducted by Mainstreet, found that the city would easily re-elect Tory if he was only up against Ford, but adding Mike Layton in the mix changes his chances.
“John Tory has nothing to fear from a one-on-one match-up against Doug Ford,” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research, in a release. “But things get much more interesting if there’s a strong progressive candidate in the race.”
According to the poll, against Ford, Tory wins easily with a 27-point lead (including undecided voters) but that lead is cut by 20 points to 7 if he were to face both Ford and City Councillor Mike Layton.
In a three-way race with both Layton and Ford, Tory receives 35%, Ford 28% and Layton 26%.
“It’s clear that if both Layton and Ford were to run that Tory would be in trouble – at least initially,” said Maggi. “None of us can guess how a mayoral campaign might turn out and what missteps the candidates could make… It’s a situation in which any of the three could ultimately win the campaign.”
Another candidate polled in the mix was former city planner Jennifer Keesmaat, who very recently left her position with the City of Toronto. The poll states that it’s likely many Torontonians aren’t familiar with Keesmaat, or know who Keesmaat is but don’t know what she would do. But according to the poll, this survey did not measure her name recognition and her entrance to the race would have the immediate effect of increasing the number of undecided voters and cutting Tory’s lead over Doug Ford by 15%.
“Even a lesser-known candidate from the progressive spectrum could cause trouble for Tory,” Maggi said. “When we polled Tory against former city planner Jennifer Keesmaat and Ford, his lead dropped from 27 to 12 points with almost 1 in 3 Torontonians undecided. Tory would also have a 12-point lead if former mayor David Miller was to run.”
But this race will have all eyes on Ford, who seems well-liked in Etobicoke and Scarborough.
“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,” said Maggi.
“Ford and Tory both definitely have bases of support but there are also many Torontonians out there who could be convinced to vote for someone else. The question is who will put their name forward and will they have the resources and vision to connect with Torontonians.”
For the poll, Mainstreet surveyed a random sample of 1,000 Torontonians on September 8 and 9. The margin of error for survey results is ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.