LONDON, Ont. - Premier Dalton McGuinty says he's not concerned that his former right-hand man may go down in flames in the upcoming Toronto mayoral election.

A new poll suggests right-wing candidate Rob Ford is far ahead of his closest rival, former deputy premier George Smitherman.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says it's a sign voters are thirsting for change from the tax-and-spend governments they're seeing at city hall and at the provincial legislature.

But McGuinty says he doesn't see it as a bad omen for his own fortunes in the next provincial election.

He says there's a full year before the 2011 election and he's not worried about the Conservatives winning seats in Toronto.

McGuinty says he won't start chasing issues like a dog chasing its tail, where you don't stand up for anything.