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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford would lose re-election bid against Tory, Chow or Stintz: poll

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford outside his lawyer’s office in Toronto on Jan. 25, 2013.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford would lose a bid for re-election if he faced a single strong opponent, a new poll suggests.

The poll, by Forum Research for The Toronto Star, found that Mr. Ford would lose in hypothetical one-on-one races against radio host John Tory, MP Olivia Chow and TTC chair Karen Stintz. A match-up against councillor Adam Vaughan would be a virtual draw.

After winning his appeal of his conflict-of-interest conviction on Friday, Mr. Ford vowed to lead the city for the "next six years," a reference to his plan to run again in the 2014 municipal election.

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However, Forum Research's poll, conducted on Friday, found that Mr. Ford would win the support of just 36 per cent of the electorate to Mr. Tory's 48 per cent. If the mayor faced Ms. Chow, he would lose with 40 per cent of the vote to her 52 per cent. Against Ms. Stintz, Mr. Ford would get 40 per cent compared to her 49 per cent.

An election against Mr. Vaughan would be a virtual tie with Mr. Ford landing 45 per cent of voters' support versus the left-leaning councillor's 43 per cent.

In the 2010 municipal election, Mr. Ford faced two main challengers and won with 47.1 per cent of the vote to George Smitherman's 35.6 per cent and Joe Pantalone's 11.7 per cent.

The poll also suggests the mayor's overall approval rate has ticked upward to 45 per cent, three percentage points higher than the last Forum Research survey on Dec. 14.

The opinion survey also found that a majority of Torontonians are supportive of Mr. Ford's legal victory, with 53 per cent of respondents saying they approve of him winning his appeal.

Forum Research polled 1,099 Torontonians using an interactive voice response telephone survey. The results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 3 per cent 19 times out of 20.

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