August 5, 2014

Below the Topline: additional observations and finding from our July Toronto Mayoral Survey

The initial release covers the main observations from our July 28-30, 2014 survey. However, here are a few things we discovered below the surface that offer some context to the numbers:

Ford enjoys strong support in Scarborough; trails elsewhere in the city

An examination of the ballot by region reveals that the Ford Nation has moved into the enclave of Scarborough. Even in Etobicoke, Ford’s home territory, he is trailing in a three-way battle against the other two contenders (although it is within the margin of error).

“The simple fact of the matter is that Ford does not have a clear advantage anywhere. To win, he needs to dominate outside the city’s core, and he is failing to do that. By contrast, Tory has a lead – in some cases well within the margin of error – in every region of the city except for Scarborough.”

Rob Ford John Tory Olivia Chow Other Undec/ Refused
Scarborough 35% 22% 20% 7% 17%
North York 24% 33% 23% 4% 16%
Toronto / East York 12% 36% 35% 8% 9%
Etobicoke / York 26% 29% 24% 5% 17%

 John Tory leads among voter demographic groups that are most likely to turn out

An examination of age-gender groups and income groups reveals that John Tory enjoys a comfortable lead among men over 35 and women over 55 years old. Tory also enjoys a comfortable lead among those Torontonians with household incomes over $100 thousand.

By contrast, Olivia Chow has a solid support base among women under 55 years old and those with household incomes under $100 thousand.

Rob Ford is only competitive among males under 35, where he is tied at 26% and voters are most undecided.

Rob Ford John Tory Olivia Chow Other Undec/ Refused
Male 18-34 26% 26% 20% 9% 19%
Male 35-54 25% 34% 24% 4% 13%
Male 55+ 28% 34% 22% 5% 11%
Female 18-34 26% 18% 30% 12% 15%
Female 35-54 23% 24% 29% 6% 18%
Female 55+ 16% 39% 30% 3% 12%
HHINC Under $100k 27% 27% 32% 6% 8%
HHINC $100k+ 19% 36% 25% 7% 13%

Ballot By Federal Party Preference

When we look at Mayoral support by federal voting preference, it is interesting to see where the dividing lines are being drawn:

  • Chow holds the left – Olivia Chow is dominating among federal NDP supporters while also drawing a plurality of federal Liberals. This is what is keeping her afloat.
  • Tory controls the centre-right – John Tory is splitting the federal Conservatives with Rob Ford (Tory is getting a plurality of those voters), while he is peeling away enough Liberals to hold the lead.
  • Ford’s Conservative-NDP Coalition – Interestingly, Ford’s coalition is comprised of a base of Conservatives supplemented with a small contingent of NDP’ers who are likely drawn by his populist approach.
Federal Voting Preference
Conservative Liberal NDP Green
Rob Ford 38% 16% 24% 25%
John Tory 41% 31% 12% 16%
Olivia Chow 8% 36% 48% 29%
Other 5% 6% 8% 17%
Undec/ Refused 0% 0% 0% 0%

 John Tory has the greatest room for growth

Decided voters were asked which candidate would be their second choice.

  • Rob Ford has no room for growth – Only 13% of John Tory voters and a scant 3% of Olivia Chow voters would consider Ford as their second choice. There is simply no room for Rob Ford’s support to increase. “His vote is stuck and he will need a game-changer to be a contender.”
  • John Tory draws voters from both Ford and Chow – One of the advantages of being the “centrist” choice is that you can draw votes from both sides. Among Rob Ford voters, 30% named John Tory as their second choice. A total of 44% of Olivia Chow’s voters also preferred John Tory as their second choice. “If Tory wants his support to grow, he would almost rather have Olivia Chow in third place because her voters would come to him in droves to stop Ford from winning.”


And who would be your second choice? [Read remaining choices if necessary]

First Choice
Ford Tory Chow
SecondChoice Ford 13% 3%
Tory 30% 44%
Chow 19% 36%
Other 5% 25% 22%
None/DK 46% 26% 31%
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