Strategic Communications Inc.



Strategic Communications Inc.

February 12, 2012 16:00 ET

Strategic Communications Inc.: Toronto Mayor Ford Suffers Sharp Rise in Voter Disaffection, Poll Shows

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 12, 2012) - A new poll taken in the 48 hours after City Council handed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford a dramatic defeat of his transit plan, 35% of Toronto residents 'strongly disapprove' of Mr Ford's performance on the job, an 11% jump in the past six months and double the figure (17%) from last March.

The results come in a new poll from research firm Strategic Communications, Inc. that gathered Toronto residents' views last Thursday and Friday.

At the same time, the survey shows that 27% strongly approve of the job the Mayor is doing, a number that has been steady since he was elected in November of 2010.

The survey of 1,300 Toronto residents has a margin of error of +/-2.7%, 19 times out of 20, the company said.

"While Mr Ford continues to have a core of strong support, his leadership is controversial as shown by the steady hardening of his disapproval ratings," according to John Willis, director of research for Strategic Communications. "A high strong disapproval rate is a key political indicator for a politician in trouble," Willis said. "The rate of increase in this indicator is dramatic, especially for a mayor so early in his term."

The survey also found that
  • Taking into account those who 'somewhat' approve or disapprove of Mayor Ford's performance highlights a parallel downward trend in overall approval ratings, from 54% in March, 2011, to just 43% now.
  • Meanwhile overall disapproval has risen to 47%, the first time since Mr Ford was elected in 2010 that more Torontonians express disapproval of his performance than approval.
  • Ford's strongest support base is in North York where 35% of residents strongly approve of his performance, and his lowest 'strongly approve' ratings are in the old City of Toronto (20%).
  • An absolute majority (51%) of residents of the old City of Toronto strongly disapprove of Mayor Ford's performance, much higher than the next most disapproving region, which is Etobicoke at 31%.
  • Scarborough residents are the most likely to say they neither approve nor disapprove of Mayor Ford's performance, or to say 'don't know' when asked (18%).

"It remains to be seen if this is a watershed for the Mayor, but Torontonians not only have a more negative view of his leadership, but those views are also becoming harder to modify going forward," Willis said.

The Stratcom survey data, in summary and with historical tracking back to March 2011, is reproduced in table format below.

www.Stratcom.ca

Methods

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.

ROB FORD APPROVAL
Feb-12 Jul-11 Mar-11
Strongly Approve 27 % 26 % 28 %
Somewhat Approve 16 % 21 % 25 %
Neither 9 % 13 % 12 %
Somewhat Disapprove 12 % 9 % 13 %
Strongly Disapprove 35 % 24 % 17 %
DK/NA 2 % 8 % 5 %
Feb-12 Jul-11 Mar-11
Approve 43 % 46 % 54 %
Disapprove 47 % 32 % 29 %
OF THOSE WITH AN OPINION
Feb-12 Jul-11 Mar-11
Strongly Approve 30 % 32 % 34 %
Somewhat Approve 18 % 27 % 31 %
Somewhat Disapprove 13 % 11 % 15 %
Strongly Disapprove 39 % 30 % 20 %
Feb-12 Jul-11 Mar-11
Approve 47 % 59 % 65 %
Disapprove 53 % 41 % 35 %
REGIONAL Toronto/York North York Scarborough Etobicoke
Strongly Approve 20 % 35 % 30 % 29 %
Somewhat Approve 11 % 21 % 18 % 20 %
Neither 6 % 9 % 15 % 8 %
Somewhat Disapprove 12 % 12 % 13 % 11 %
Strongly Disapprove 51 % 22 % 22 % 31 %
DK/NA 1 % 2 % 3 % 2 %
Toronto/York North York Scarborough Etobicoke
Approve 31 % 56 % 48 % 49 %
Disapprove 63 % 34 % 35 % 41 %
REGIONAL
WITH OPINION Toronto/York North York Scarborough Etobicoke
Strongly Approve 21 % 39 % 36 % 33 %
Somewhat Approve 12 % 23 % 22 % 22 %
Somewhat Disapprove 12 % 14 % 16 % 12 %
Strongly Disapprove 55 % 25 % 26 % 34 %
Toronto/York North York Scarborough Etobicoke
Approve 33 % 62 % 58 % 55 %
Disapprove 67 % 38 % 42 % 46 %

Contact Information

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