Smitherman and Ford in Dead Heat, but Trail Tory in voter support

TORONTO, June 14 /CNW/ - A new poll focusing on Toronto's mayoral campaign finds perceived front runner George Smitherman is virtually tied with Rob Ford in a close race, but would be well back in second place if John Tory entered the race.

When eligible Toronto voters were asked to identify who they'd vote for among the current candidates for the October 25, 2010 Mayor's election, 29% chose George Smitherman compared to 26% who picked Rob Ford. Candidates Sarah Thompson (17%), Joe Pantalone (12%), Rocco Rossi (10%) and Giorgio Mammoliti (4%) are trailing well back.

However when voters were asked to identify their choice if John Tory were to become a candidate, a rumour denied by Tory prior to the survey, the numbers change dramatically. In that scenario Tory has the lead in decided voters with 38% support. Smitherman is well back with 19%. In this situation Ford drops down to just 13%, with Thompson (14%), Pantalone (10%), Rossi (3%) and Mammoliti (2%).

"If the candidate list remains as it is we are looking at a very tight race over the next five months between two well-known candidates. Despite getting out of the gate fast, Rocco Rossi's campaign has so far failed to catch the interest of Toronto voters." said Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research Inc. "After again saying he would not enter the race, and despite his past campaign failures, John Tory remains the most popular choice among Toronto voters."

Current mayor David Miller did not fare well in the polling, with only 29% of Torontonians saying that the city is better off today than before Miller was mayor. In contrast, 38% indicated that the city was not better off.

Toronto residents were asked what is the most important problem facing the city. The TTC was most frequently mentioned (17%) followed by traffic/congestion (15%), economy/jobs (11%), crime (7%), property taxes (6%) and government spending (6%). Less frequently mentioned issues included the environment (4%), G20 summit (3%), development/land use (3%), poverty/homelessness (2%) and bike lanes (1%). Other issues were mentioned by 18% of residents. Another 8% did not cite any problems.

The poll was conducted by Forum Research with the results based on a telephone survey of 405 randomly selected Toronto residents, conducted from June 11 to June 13, 2010. Results are considered accurate +/- 4.9%, 19 times out of 20.

The key questions asked concerned:

    
                          Mayoral Voting Intentions
    

"Now let's look at some residents who might be running for the Mayor of Toronto. If the election was held today, which candidate are you most likely to vote for?"

Smitherman - 29%

Ford - 26%

Thompson - 14%

Pantalone - 12%

Rossi - 10%

Mammoliti - 4%

Someone else - 2%

(Undecided - 44%)

And, who would you vote for mayor if the candidates were?

Tory - 38%

Smitherman - 19%

Thompson - 14%

Ford - 13%

Pantalone - 10%

Rossi - 4%

Mammoliti - 2%

Someone else *

(Undecided - 30%)

* Less than 1%

Whether Toronto is better off than before David Miller

Do you think that the City of Toronto is better off today than it was before David Miller was mayor?

Yes, better off today - 29%

No, not better off today - 38%

The same - 17%

Don't know - 16%

Most Important Issue Facing Toronto

What would you say is the most important problem facing the City of Toronto today?

TTC - 17%

Traffic/congestion - 15%

Economy/jobs - 11%

Crime - 7%

Property taxes - 6%

Government spending - 6%

Environment - 4%

G20 summit - 3%

Development/land use - 3%

Poverty/homelessness - 2%

Bike lanes - 1%

Other issues - 18%

None - 2%

Don't know - 6%

Note: Percentages may not add exactly to 100, due to rounding.

SOURCE FORUM RESEARCH INC.

For further information: For further information: Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D., President, Forum Research Inc., Tel: (416) 960-9603, Fax: (416) 960-9602, e-mail: lbozinoff@forumresearch.com

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