With Toronto's municipal election more than seven months away, former NDP MP Olivia Chow is leading the pack of mayoral hopefuls, a new poll suggests.

In a telephone poll sampling of 1,271 Toronto voters, Chow had the support of 36 per cent of respondents, while incumbent Rob Ford came in second with 28 per cent support. Former Ontario PC party leader and radio personality John Tory ranked third, at 22 per cent.

Trailing behind the frontrunners were former TTC chair Karen Stintz (5% support) and former councillor David Soknacki (2% support). Seven per cent of respondents said they were undecided.

The telephone poll was conducted Thursday evening, the same day Chow officially launched her campaign for Toronto's top political office.

In a previous Forum Research poll conducted on Feb. 24, amid rampant speculation about Chow's intent to run, the former Toronto MP was in a tight, three-way race with Ford and Tory. According to that poll, Ford and Chow were tied at 31 per cent, while Tory trailed closely behind at 27 per cent.

"By actually entering the race after standing on the sidelines for so long, Olivia Chow appears to have stolen the wind from John Tory's sails, and left both he and Rob Ford in her wake," Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff said in a statement.

According to the latest poll, Chow is especially popular among young voters. She is also most popular in the downtown area, and among those voters who take public transit. By comparison, Ford is the top choice for Toronto voters aged 35 to 44, and for those living in Etobicoke and Scarborough.

John Tory, according to Thursday's poll, is most popular among older voters, and those who earn between $80,000 to $100,000.

Toronto voters will cast their ballots on Oct. 27.

Forum's latest telephone poll is considered accurate within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.