Ford's approval rating up 5 per cent after ice storm: poll
A new poll suggests Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's response to a crippling ice storm in December has helped his approval rating.
A poll conducted by Forum Research Inc. found that almost half of the 1,105 Torontonians surveyed approve of Rob Ford's work as mayor, and four in ten plan to vote for him in the 2014 election.
On Dec. 9, 42 per cent approved of the job Rob Ford is doing as mayor of Toronto. By Jan. 6, Ford’s approval rating was up to 47 per cent. The mayor's popularity is highest among young voters, the middle class, residents of Scarborough, drivers and those considered "least educated."
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly has an approval rating of 60 per cent, down 5 per cent from the last survey in December.
"An extreme weather event like the ice storm can be damaging to a city but gold for a politician," Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff said in a press release Monday. "Rob Ford grabbed the opportunity with both hands and made the most of it. People saw him taking charge and will remember it."
At the height of the storm, more than 300,000 Toronto Hydro customers were without electricity as a result of downed power lines. Last week, city officials said it will cost more than $75 million to clean up the thousands of tree limbs that splintered during the ice storm.
Ford has called a special council meeting on Jan. 10 to request financial aid from the province.
The poll also asked who respondents would vote for in 2014. Of the declared front-runners, the poll suggests that Rob Ford would get 49 per cent of the votes, beating TTC Chair Karen Stintz (29 per cent) and former city councillor David Soknacki (14 per cent).
In other hypothetical scenarios, Ford still came out on top. If NDP MP Olivia Chow was in the race, Ford would get 39 per cent of votes, with Chow taking 35 per cent and Stintz and Soknacki trailing with 12 per cent and 8 per centrespectively.
If John Tory joined the race, Ford would win with 35 per cent, compared to Chow's 30 per cent, 22 per cent for Tory, 5 per cent for Stinz and 3 per cent for Soknacki.
However, when asked who will be elected as mayor in 2014, 38 per cent think Ford will win, and 51 per cent think it will be anyone else.
The Forum Research poll is based on a telephone survey of 1,105 randomly-selected Torontonians who are 18 or older. The survey was conducted on Monday, and the results are considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.