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Mayor Ford's approval rating up: poll

Mayor Rob Ford may have had a tough ride for his decision not to attend this year’s Pride parade and after losing a key transit battle at city hall, but a recent poll shows his approval rating is up.

The mayor’s approval rating is now the highest it’s been since June 2011, according to Forum Research survey results released on Thursday.

The telephone poll of 812 Torontonians showed 47 per cent of those surveyed approve of the job Ford is doing — that’s a six-point increase from last month. Ford had a 57-per-cent approval rating last June.

“He’s on the comeback trail,” Lorne Bozinoff of Forum Research told CityNews.

“He’s only got a 30 per cent approval rating in the old city of Toronto. In contrast, in Scarborough he’s at 58 per cent. He’s at 56 per cent in North York, so in the suburbs, he’s doing very, very well.”

The survey was conducted on Wednesday and is considered accurate +/-3.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Earlier this week the mayor stated he’s once again refusing an invitation to attend the Pride parade because he plans to spend time at his family’s Muskoka cottage. Just under half of those polled — 44 per cent — said Ford should attend the event. Twenty-five per cent of respondents said he shouldn’t go to Pride and 29 per cent said it was his personal choice.

The poll shows Torontonians back Ford’s subway plan, despite the fact council doesn’t. Sixty per cent of those surveyed said they prefer the mayor’s subway vision over the light-rail transit (LRT) plan officially adopted by council last month. The pollster noted that finding shows Ford’s approval rating is up eight points from last month when it comes to transit.

The poll results also show Ford would win back the mayor’s chair if an election was held today. Three different scenarios were included in the poll — three different three-way races.

Ford would win in a race with one of his most vocal critics, Coun. Adam Vaughan, and former budget chief Coun. Shelley Carroll. He’d earn 40 per cent of the vote, the poll states, beating Vaughan by an 11-point margin and Carroll by 19 points.

Ford would also win a three-way race including Vaughan and TTC chair Karen Stintz, who led the charge against the mayor’s subway plan.

In that scenario, the poll shows Ford would also win 40-per-cent support, beating Vaughan by a 13-point margin and Stintz by 19 points.

And Ford would also win a race including Vaughan and former mayoral candidate John Tory. That race would be tighter, with Ford winning 33-per-cent support, the poll states, beating both Vaughan and Tory by a six-point margin.