Strategic Communications Inc.

Strategic Communications Inc.

February 13, 2012 17:11 ET

Minority Support Ford Subway Plan, Not A Majority: Poll

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 13, 2012) -

Attn: Toronto News Editors and City Hall Bureaux

A new survey of 1,300 Torontonians finds that 43% think Council made the right decision and an equal number feel Council made the wrong decision when it overturned Mayor Rob Ford's plan for subways.

The remainder (14%) are unsure of their view of the dramatic transit-related events at City Hall last week.

The results come in a new poll from research firm Strategic Communications, Inc. that gathered Toronto residents' views last Thursday and Friday - soon after City Council voted 25-18 to shelve Ford's subway-focused plan in favour of a transit build-out that emphasizes light rail.

The survey has a margin of error of +/-2.7%, 19 times out of 20.

On Thursday, as the poll was about to go into the field, the Mayor's brother, Cllr Doug Ford (Etobicoke North), told The Toronto Star that "every poll says 70 to 80 per cent of people want subways" (

"It's easy to say 'I love subways' in general, but for Torontonians the question is whether City Hall is making the right or wrong decisions," said John Willis, director of research for Strategic Communications. "Right now, there is no evidence of a strong majority standing against Council's decision to overturn Mayor Ford's plan, let alone 70 or 80%," he said.

The new figures also come on the heels of another polling result released yesterday, showing that the number of Toronto residents who strongly disapprove of Mr Ford's performance on the job has doubled from 17% last March to 35% now.

"Transit planning is not going to be decided by public opinion polls," said Willis. "But polls like this remind us that Torontonians are, as a whole, not nearly as committed to one approach as the rhetoric of City Hall sometimes makes them out to be."


This survey was fielded using Stratcom's Rapid Poll, an automated phone poll, from February 9th to 10th, 2012, yielding a sample of 1300 completed surveys and a margin of error of +/-2.7%, 19 times out of 20 had the entire 18+ population of Toronto been polled. This data was statistically weighted to ensure that the sample's regional gender and age composition reflects that of the actual Toronto population according to the 2006 Census. The data was analyzed using SPSS 12.0.

Strategic Communications Inc. (Stratcom) is a full service opinion research and Communications firm with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. We have been providing quantitative and qualitative public affairs research since 1991. Stratcom has been the official pollster to 24 Hours newspaper in Vancouver, and its research has been recognized in Maclean's Magazine, the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Vancouver Sun newspapers, among others.

RapidPoll Results February 2012 Toronto Transit Debate and Mayoral Approval

Total Sample Toronto/ York North York

Col% Col% Col% Col% Col%
Yesterday, Toronto City Council voted 25 to 18 to reverse Mayor Rob Ford's plan to focus transit spending on two new subways, and instead to put the money into building at least three above-ground light rail lines in different parts of the city. Given what you have seen, or read, or heard, do you think that City Council has made the right decision or the wrong decision? Right decision 43.2% 52.5% 38.0% 39.7% 32.9%
Wrong decision 42.8% 35.4% 45.3% 46.9% 52.1%
Not sure 14.0% 12.1% 16.7% 13.4% 15.0%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Contact Information

  • Strategic Communications Inc. (Stratcom)
    John Willis
    Director, Campaigns & Research
    416.319.0052 or 416.537.6100 x70