Most people in the City of Toronto believe the right course of action was taken in the Rob Ford case, but a majority of the current mayor’s supporters are ready to vote for him if he can take part in an impending by-election, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted in partnership with the Toronto Star has found.
In the online survey of a representative sample of 745 adults in the City of Toronto, two thirds of respondents (69%) support the decision to remove Ford from office after he was found guilty of breaching conflict of interest law.
The ruling to remove Mayor Ford from office has been put on hold for 14 days, giving the Mayor’s defense team the opportunity to appeal the finding. If this happens, the courts may impose a “stay” on the findings, making it possible for the Mayor to remain in office until the appeal is heard. This process could last a number of months.
If the appeal is successful and the Mayor remains in office, two-in-five Torontonians (40%) think he will be unable to function effectively as Mayor and City business will suffer.
About one-in-five respondents (18%, including 40% of Ford voters in the 2010 election) believe he will be able to function effectively as Mayor and City business will continue as usual.
Torontonians are divided on the best solution to the Mayor’s departure, with 46 per cent siding with the idea of holding a by-election to elect a new Mayor for the remaining two years of the current term, and 45 per cent preferring that the City appoint a City Councilor as interim Mayor until 2014.
Across Toronto, 28 per cent of respondents say they have a positive impression of Mayor Ford. As was the case last month, the rating is higher for other municipal figures, including current Member of Parliament Olivia Chow (60%), TTC Chair and City Councilor Karen Stintz (43%), broadcaster and former mayoralty candidate John Tory (43%) and City Councilor Adam Vaughan (36%).
The proportion of respondents who say they would vote for Rob Ford if he were eligible to take part in a by-election stands at 27 per cent across Toronto, but at 60 per cent among respondents who supported Ford two years ago.
In two scenarios, Chow is the most popular mayoralty contender in Toronto. The current Member of Parliament holds with a nine-point lead over Ford (27% to 16%), as well as a six-point edge over Tory (29% to 23%) in an election where Ford is not a candidate.
Jodi Shanoff, Senior Vice President, Angus Reid Public Opinion
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Methodology: From November 27 to November 28, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 745 randomly selected adults in the City of Toronto who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.6%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the City of Toronto. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.