Support for Smitherman increases by 14 points following recent withdrawals of Mayoral candidates.

The mayoral race in the City of Toronto has tightened considerably heading into the final days of campaigning, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion / Toronto Star / CityNews Election poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,001 adults in the City of Toronto, 41 per cent of decided voters and leaners (+2 since September) would support Rob Ford in the election. George Smitherman is now practically tied with Ford at 40 per cent (+14), followed by Joe Pantalone with 16 per cent (+3).

Firmness of Support

Three-in-five Ford voters (76%) say their support for their preferred candidate is firm. Two thirds of Smitherman supporters (69%) say they will not change their mind before election day, a 30-point increase since the previous survey conducted in September. In contrast, 49 per cent of Pantalone’s voters say they could end up voting for a different candidate next week.

Strategic Voting

Smitherman appears to be the main beneficiary from the early exits of candidates Sarah Thomson and Rocco Rossi. In fact, 40 per cent of respondents who will cast a ballot for Smitherman say they will be “voting strategically” this month, compared to only 18 per cent of Pantalone supporters and six per cent of Ford supporters.

Momentum

Pantalone heads to the election with a positive momentum rating. Across the City of Toronto, 19 per cent of respondents say their impression of Pantalone has improved over the past 30 days, while 17 per cent say it has worsened. Smitherman checks in at -1 on this indicator, while Ford is at -21 (more than a third of Torontonians say their views on Ford have worsened in the past month).

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

CONTACT:

Jodi Shanoff, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs
+416 712 5498
jodi.shanoff@angus-reid.com

Methodology: From October 14 to October 15, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,001 randomly selected adults in the City of Toronto who are Angus Reid Forum panellists—including 878 decided voters and leaners. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1% for the entire sample and 3.5% for decided voters and leaners, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Toronto. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.