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Tory and Ford neck-and-neck in mayoral race: Exclusive CityNews poll

Doug Ford has surged ahead, closing the gap between himself and front-runner John Tory in the race for mayor of Toronto, according to an exclusive Forum Research poll conducted for CityNews and the Toronto Star.

The latest numbers have Ford up four per cent, from 33 per cent to 37 per cent, while Tory’s numbers dropped from 43 per cent to 39 per cent.

It’s a drastic change from last week’s Forum poll which had the two candidates 10 points apart.

“This is a shocking upset indeed. Doug had a fairly good week last week, but his partisans clearly think he had a great week,” Forum Research president, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff said in a statement on Monday. “He has neatly filched 4 points off John Tory and added them to his vote share.”

Olivia Chow’s numbers also rose by two per cent from 20 to 22.

The poll found that only two per cent of those asked would vote for another candidate.

Support for Tory remains strong in North York and Downtown while Ford support continued in Etobicoke and Scarborough.

In an interview on Tuesday morning, Bozinoff said Tory has been “under attack from both sides” and that “he’s had Olivia Chow really going after him, really tooth and nail.”

“He’s been under attack for his Smart Track plan, so he’s been having to defend himself.”

However, Ford was scrutinized on Monday for his comments at Sunday’s debate hosted by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, where he used Jewish stereotypes as part of his defense of his family.

The poll, which was conducted during 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, didn’t seem to capture that controversy.

“It may be too soon to capture the impact of that. Sometimes, you need a day or two after the event to really get the impact of it,” Bozinoff said.

The Forum poll was conducted Oct. 6 and has a margin of 2.8 per cent from a sample size of 1,218 Toronto voters.

Click here to see an interactive graph of the results on your mobile device.