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Rob Ford's approval rating takes a dive after transit vote

Posted by Derek Flack / February 13, 2012

Rob Ford approval ratingApproval ratings polls aren't necessarily worth much, particularly when they come years ahead of an election, but they're certainly a better indicator of support for a politician's mandate than soliciting feedback from subway riders late at night. So, with that in mind, it's worth noting that Rob Ford's popularity continues to decrease as his mayoralty continues.

2012213-ford-poll.jpgThe latest poll to say so comes courtesy of Strategic Communications, Inc., which conducted its research in the 48 hours following Ford's loss at the special city council meeting on transit. As Stratcom has it, the mayor's overall disapproval has risen to 47 per cent, which is "the first time since Mr Ford was elected in 2010 that more Torontonians express disapproval of his performance than approval [43 per cent]." Meanwhile 35 per cent of Toronto residents "strongly disapprove" of Ford's job performance, an 11 per cent jump in the past six months.

2012213-ford-poll-2.jpgCountering this decline is the number of people who strongly approve of the job the mayor's doing, which at 27 per cent remains consistent with other polls going back to March 2011. In other words, Ford still enjoys support from his base. It will be interesting to determine if this number moves at all when the transit file finally gets sorted.

Lead photo by Mariam Matti



Another day another zzzz.... / February 13, 2012 at 09:38 am
Hey guys! Who wants to talk about Ron ford today?
Another day another maybe I should read a different blog... replying to a comment from Another day another zzzz.... / February 13, 2012 at 09:42 am
Hey guys! Who wants to not bother clinking on a link that takes them to a story they don't want to read about?
Ryan / February 13, 2012 at 09:43 am
The trend is not favorable to Ford but that statement about 47% vs. 43% isn't entirely accurate because the poll's accuracy is +/- 2.7%.
I'm actually kind of surprised he didn't make a bigger deal about preventing a strike in order to drown out the negative transit press.
Steve replying to a comment from Ryan / February 13, 2012 at 09:51 am
I think that was the plan initially, but then McGuinty left him to twist in the wind and the cornerstone of his campaign lay in a smoking heap. Nothing short of him lighting himself on fire would have distracted from what is his biggest defeat yet.
Mayor Ford for PM / February 13, 2012 at 09:53 am
Make it happen people, this country needs it.
Lol / February 13, 2012 at 09:57 am
This bumbling buffoon needs to take Doug and go back to making labels. "Respect for Taxpayers"... biggest load of BS ever.
Hilarious replying to a comment from Mayor Ford for PM / February 13, 2012 at 09:57 am
Thanks! I needed a Monday morning laugh.
Realist / February 13, 2012 at 10:12 am
Hmm. All areas but those in the downtown core still strongly support the mayor. The downtown doesn't and never did. Shocking. Bad news for the core is the suburbs are the areas gaining the most population and hence the most voters come the next election.
Jay / February 13, 2012 at 10:23 am
Ford's approval rating in North York at 62% and Scarborough at 58%. Why? Maybe they're not so much voting for Ford, as voting against the downtown core. I'm just speculating ... but it would be very interesting indeed to get an analysis or further follow up on these results.
boo hoo / February 13, 2012 at 10:26 am
Guess what? He's mayor for 3 more years. If democracy is so important why didn't the pinkos bother to vote?
Grant / February 13, 2012 at 10:34 am
I don't think polls matter to people who are convinced they are right.
steve replying to a comment from Realist / February 13, 2012 at 10:45 am
So what are the advantages off gutting the city core in favour of the suburbs?
K. / February 13, 2012 at 10:50 am
Interestingly those who "strongly approve" are till around 25% - unchanged. Would be interesting to know if these are constantly the same people or if there is a drift in his demographic.
TOjohnw / February 13, 2012 at 10:59 am
We did the poll to track changes over the past year. See the full data tables via a google search of 'Ford Poll Strategic' - there you'll see that since March 2011, Ford's strong approval ratting h as remained remarkably constant (26-28%) but folks who were 'somewhat' approving or had no opinion have move en mass (15%) toward the 'disapprove' column, accounting for most of teh spike. Also the change has come largely over the period when Mr Ford suffered major defeats on two key planks - budget cuts and transit, meaning this political indicator could be key for his success in leading council forward.
TheDoctor replying to a comment from TOjohnw / February 13, 2012 at 11:08 am
This man? Lead? hahahahaha! Oh, if the story wasn't funny enough, that sure was! He can't even lead his brother, let alone the council.
dave / February 13, 2012 at 11:42 am
"This survey was fielded using Stratcom's Rapid Poll, an automated phone poll"

So, the only people who answered this poll were people who answer robo-calls (who the hell are these people anyway?). Quite possibly the real sentiment against Ford could be higher as these polls only reach those willing to put up with the spam call in the first place.
Mike replying to a comment from dave / February 13, 2012 at 11:57 am
Why would it be much higher? I'm confused. It's just as easily could be much lower, no?
Pro-Ford Comment Trolls / February 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm
Numbers and math make us cry!!!! SO WE WILL CRY ONTO YOUR COMMENT SECTIONNNN
v79 / February 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm
But the question is are people dissatisfied with his direction and policies, or are they upset that he wasn't successful in accomplishing what they wanted? If it's the latter, then it's also a sign that they're unhappy with the direction city council is taking with their two mini-rebellions. Has Strategic Communications done any polling to illustrate Torontonian's views of City council's performance as a whole?
dave replying to a comment from Mike / February 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm
Possibly, but if the stereotype of the Rob Ford haters holds (younger, live in old TO, use public services/TTC), then this demographic is less likely to answer spam calls. The stereotype of the Rob Ford lover (older, live in exurbs, don't use public services/TTC) is more likely to be reached by tele-polls.
James Bow / February 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm
More people in Etobicoke strongly disapprove of Ford's performance than strongly approve?

That Ford has more support in the suburbs than the core is no surprise. What is a surprise is how vulnerable he appears to be in his home turf.
tekhead74 / February 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm
Heh, downtowners know more re: truth about the pasty Fords than they wud like n we want our city back from the Fascists.
Thx to RoFo's cocaine habit it will happen sooner than later.

Btw- we don't want him to pretend lead Toronto, we all need real leadership.
NOT from guys who wish we were America.
tekhead74 / February 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm
R.F. +D.F. n American dream:
Aaron replying to a comment from Realist / February 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm
Actually, that's not true. The suburbs in the 905 are growing faster, but they don't vote for mayor of Toronto. In Toronto proper, the population of the suburban areas is pretty stable while the downtown core is growing fastest. Adam Vaughan's ward is the fastest growing in Toronto, surely that doesn't bode well for Ford nation.
TOjohnw / February 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm
1) why is an automated survey call 'spam'? it is not marketing or sales, it is legit public opinion research, which plenty of people continue to believe is part of a normal civil society and they don't feel a knee-jerk desire to refuse to participate. Automated polling is reliable, which is so many major firms (e.g. EKOS) use it now.
2)Ford's trendline is poor in all parts of the city, it just happens to be overwhelming in the old City (let's not call it 'downtown core' - I can't see Old Weston Rd or Coxwell n of Danforth as 'downtown' particularly)
3) we have looked at City Council's performance - please watch for me to come.
Etobicoke replying to a comment from James Bow / February 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm
because he hasn't done a damn thing for us, expect give us cuts upon cuts and raised our fees. It has all been about Scarborough, which we personally don't give a damn about.
Mike replying to a comment from TOjohnw / February 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm
As v79 pointed out, the one thing that this survey doesn't answer is why the numbers are what they are. Are people dissatisfied with him in general or are they angry that he wasn't able to get his transit plan voted through (that is, one that they supported)?
boohoo / February 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm
People voted for Smitherman in the rating polls but forgot to vote in the election.
pho / February 13, 2012 at 01:04 pm
Whoever is running for mayor against Ford in 2014, needs to target the suburbs and particularly the immigrant/non-white population found in them. They are the ones most screwed by Rob Ford, especially in terms of transit. It's a huge, untapped demographic that could sway the election drastically. This was a major oversight by Smitherman and Pantalone last time around. Etobicoke being Ford Country is a myth that needs serious debunking. The vast majority of his supporters are aging, wealthy WASPs (that are slowly dying off or making the permanent move to Florida) that respond well to his "war on the car" schtick. These numbers prove that Ford is on shaky ground in Etobicoke.
Drew / February 13, 2012 at 01:54 pm
Council should have a discussion in council and take Gordon Chong's recommendations seriously.

After all, this is the man that Rob Ford sent to figure out a way to raise funds for a subway. Then the suburbs should 'see' what Rob Ford's plan would be if it moved forward. If the suburbs want to support Rob Ford for subways, then they should get a taste of what his plan entails for it to be remotely possible.
tommy replying to a comment from pho / February 13, 2012 at 03:34 pm
"They are the ones most screwed by Rob Ford"

And yet they are the ones who voted for him because "he is married to a woman" . There's a reason the conservative parties are making gains in the immigrant/non-white population. Bigotry and fear is a powerful motivator.
Justorbs / February 13, 2012 at 06:26 pm
Ha, what a coincidence!

My approval rating of BlogTO's political views has also taken a dive! Sometimes I mistakenly think I'm on NOW's website when I read the anti-Ford drivel on here. It's your prerogative though, nothing wrong with it. I just disagree.
Justorbs / February 13, 2012 at 07:25 pm
My sexual stamina took a dive sometime in the late 1990s but whatever, I'm still a virgin anyway.
Justorbs (real Justorbs) / February 13, 2012 at 07:37 pm
What the hell? Don't pretend to be me. I'm not a virgin. I had sex once (sort of) in 2003.
Justorbs (real real Justorbs) / February 13, 2012 at 09:44 pm
Grow up, children.
Thirtyish replying to a comment from pho / February 14, 2012 at 12:18 am
The major over-sight by Smitherman was E-Health. $1 billion paid to consultants without any results.
Justorbs / February 14, 2012 at 10:06 am
Want to know why I'm called Just Orbs? It's because of my spherical, protruding man-breasts. I get a lot of weird messages on LavaLife because of them.
SD / February 15, 2012 at 09:14 am
His approval will never drop below 27%. It's the crazification factor.
Mitzi Shorr / April 18, 2013 at 11:50 am
Whether you #think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. — Henry Ford (1863-1947)
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