A new poll puts Rob Ford decisively in third place

A new poll puts Rob Ford decisively in third place

(Image: John Tory/Facebook) (Image: John Tory/Facebook)
 

Here’s the thing about polling before an election: if you ask two pollsters to predict the outcome, you’re going to get two different answers. In contrast to last week’s Forum poll, which described a virtual dead heat between Olivia Chow, John Tory and Rob Ford, a new survey by Maple Leaf Strategies, a lobbying firm with conservative ties, gives Tory a healthy lead and puts Ford in the back. By Maple Leaf’s reckoning, Tory takes 30 per cent of the total vote, Chow gets 26 per cent and Ford trails with 23 per cent. (Among decided voters, the percentages are 35, 31 and 27, respectively.)

Since the numbers come from an unabashedly conservative pollster, it’s wise to approach them with some skepticism. Polls can be more effective at swaying public opinion than measuring it, and political operatives know it. Even so, this is an interesting data point, and bad news for the mayor, who has by all accounts been struggling to increase his vote share since the start of the campaign. Maple Leaf finds his remaining support to be strongest in Scarborough, where he polled at 35 per cent.