Nearly six in 10 Torontonians agree with a court decision to remove Mayor Rob Ford from his post, a Forum Research poll has found.

Released just two days after a judge found Ford guilty of conflict-of-interest charges and ordered him to vacate the mayor’s chair, the random sampling showed 58 percent of residents were behind the judicial decision, while 38 percent disagreed.

One quarter of Torontonians polled said they would like to see either Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday or Councillor Adam Vaughan step in as “caretaker” mayors, if that is the option council choosesto handle the empty top spot. TTC Chair Karen Stintz trailed her colleagues at 13 percent.

Presented with options on how to go about replacing Ford, over one third (35%) said they wanted a snap byelection. More than half indicated they are prepared to see a current member of city council become mayor for the rest of the 2010-2014 term-- either by appointing the deputy mayor to mayor (28%), or an election within council to select among current members (26%).

When it came down to just the residents who voted for him in the 2010 election, support for yanking Ford from office dropped significantly -- to 27 per cent.

Torontonians are split down the middle, however, when it comes to the question of whether Ford should be allowed to run in a byelection: 47 percent said he should bepermitted to seek re-election immediately. 

What’s more, just over half say the former Etobicoke councillor should be allowed to serve as mayor while he appeals the judgment against him.

According to Forum research, Ford’s approval rating sits at 42 percent-- a figure that has remained static for months.

“Ford Nation is loyal and having their hero thrown from office just solidifies their support,” Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research Inc., said in a statement. “The majority of Torontonians, on the other hand, who are citizens of Reality Nation, appear to have just about reached the end of their patience with the mayor.”

The poll results are based on a telephone survey of 807 randomly selected residents, age 18 or older. It was conducted on Nov. 26, the day the judge’s order was handed down.

The case that shook up Toronto City Hall this week came down to Ford’s use of an official city letterhead in 2010 to solicit donations to his private football foundation -- and his participation in a council vote two years later about whether he should repay the $3,150 raised.

Ford has appealed the ruling, issued by Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland, vowing to fight “tooth and nail” to keep his seat.