Chow sees support slip ahead of budget vote this week: poll

Support appears to be slipping for Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow ahead of the final vote on her budget this week, according to a recent survey.

The latest poll from Liaison Strategies finds support for Chow has dropped to 55 per cent after hovering between 75 and 71 per cent since she was elected last June.

“The Olivia Chow honeymoon is over,” says David Valentin, principal at Liaison Strategies.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Olivia Chow is doing as Mayor of Toronto?

Chow’s stance on crime appears to be a driving factor behind her falling numbers with only 48 per cent of respondents approving her work when it comes to addressing crime in the city.

“Support for cutting funding from the Toronto Police Service to fund social services is down from 39 per cent to 31 per cent, with 44 per cent now opposing the measure” says Valentin.

The mayor still scores high on a number of issues, including the city’s relationship with federal and provincial governments, and affordable housing.

“The numbers tell us that Torontonians mostly approve of how things are going at the moment,” Valentin says. “Approvals in the 70 per cent range were always going to be a challenge for any politician to maintain, especially once tough conversations about the budget and tax rates took the spotlight.”

City Council is set to meet on Wednesday to finalize Chow’s 2024 spending plan, which includes a 9.5 per cent property tax increase for homeowners. Nearly half of respondents approve of the budget, according to the survey.

“When we asked Torontonians during the election if the city was moving in the right or wrong direction, most told us it was moving in the wrong direction,” says Valentin, adding that nearly half of respondents (49 per cent) now say the city is moving in the right direction.

In your opinion is the City of Toronto heading in the right direction or the wrong direction?

Affordable housing, transit and crime ranked as the top three issues in the city, according to respondents.

Liaison surveyed 875 random Torontonians between Feb. 5 and Feb. 6.

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