Less than a week before Rob Ford is expected to launch his political comeback, a new poll shows he remains competitive in Toronto's mayoral race.

A new Forum Research poll-- conducted one week before Ford is set to return to city hall -- shows that Ford trails mayoral frontrunner Olivia Chow by only seven percentage points.

In the last poll, conducted on June 6, the embattled mayor was behind the former Trinity-Spadina MP by 18 percentage points.

The improved poll results for Ford may be a result of his “imminent” return, Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff explained.

"(The) interest in the mayor is beginning to grow, and with it, as usually happens, his approval," Bozinoff said in a statement on Wednesday. "We’ll see if this is a temporary phenomenon, or a sustained surge which will carry him back into the campaign he left so abruptly."

Ford has notified the city he will be back on June 30. He is currently in a rehab facility in Bala, Ont., after taking a leave of absence in late April after a new video emerged that allegedly showed Ford smoking from a pipe.

According the latest poll, Chow continues to lead the pack with 34 per cent of respondents supporting her, followed by Ford (27%), John Tory (24%), David Soknacki (6%), and Karen Stintz (3%).

Monday’s poll sampled 890 voters. It is accurate within plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.