polls

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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With three days to go, a new poll gives John Tory a decisive lead

This Ipsos Reid poll, conducted on behalf of Global News, is an important one. Not only does it come just three days before the municipal election, but it also generally agrees with the most recent Forum Research poll. So, that’s two polls from two different pollsters, conducted within days of each other and showing pretty much the same result: John Tory a dozen or so points ahead of Doug Ford, and Olivia Chow still trailing behind. This poll differs from the Forum poll in a few ways, though: it was conducted over a number of days, rather than just one, and it included both phone and online responses, whereas Forum election polls always rely on robocalls. Also, Global doesn’t say whether or not these results are among decided voters only. If they are, then everyone’s percentages are likely slightly higher than they would otherwise be. Regardless, the trend is clear: Tory is looking strong.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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With advance voting over, John Tory is still ahead in the polls

This new Forum Research poll, conducted on October 20, gives John Tory his biggest lead over Doug Ford to date. What’s more, the automated phone survey of 847 Torontonians included responses only from likely voters, or from people who had already voted at one of the city’s advance polling stations. That, plus the fact that the election is only five days away (!!!), makes these results marginally more trustworthy than those of previous polls. No pre-election poll should ever be taken at face value, but Tory’s camp has to be feeling confident, regardless.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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Another poll gives John Tory a comfortable lead over Doug Ford

No surprises here: like a dozen other polls before it, this survey of 2,265 Torontonians by political consultancy Mainstreet Technologies puts John Tory in the lead. Like the most recent Forum Research poll, this one gives Tory a healthy margin of victory, meaning we can now be at least somewhat certain that the one poll that showed Doug Ford pulling ahead was a statistical blip. With only a little more than a week to go before election day, we’re at the point where these things should (emphasis on should) be getting a little more predictive of the actual outcome. That’s bad news for Olivia Chow, who’s still bringing up the rear.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

1 Comment

A new Forum poll gives John Tory his lead back

This latest Forum Research poll, conducted with input from 1241 Toronto residents on October 15, shows results consistent with those of other polls released since August. John Tory has a comfortable lead over Doug Ford, and Olivia Chow still trails with less than a quarter of the vote. Although none of this is particularly surprising, it’s nevertheless a huge departure from last week’s Forum poll, which put Ford and Tory in a virtual tie. Pollsters usually qualify their results by saying that they’re “considered accurate 19 times out of 20.” That previous poll may just have been number 20.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

5 Comments

Doug Ford closes in on John Tory in a new Forum poll

Yesterday’s Mainstreet Technologies poll showed John Tory maintaining his commanding lead over both Doug Ford and Olivia Chow, but a Forum Research poll released today tells a much different story. The phone survey of 1218 Toronto residents shows Tory and Ford in a virtual tie, with Chow still trailing far behind. The disparity between this and the Mainstreet poll is beyond either one’s margin of error, so one or both of them could very well be flat-out wrong. (To be fair, any poll can be wrong; it’s an occupational hazard.) If other polls start to agree with this one, though, Ford followers may have something to celebrate. The rest of the city, not so much.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

1 Comment

A new poll shows John Tory solidifying his lead

The latest poll from political consultancy Mainstreet Technologies tells much the same story as every poll since Labour Day. The phone survey of 2,379 Toronto residents finds John Tory still way ahead, while Olivia Chow’s numbers continue to crumble. What’s more, this poll, like Mainstreet’s last one, shows Tory with another, less obvious advantage: people who say they plan to vote for him also tend to express certainty that they actually will vote. Supporters of the other two major candidates are apparently less sure. That’s crucial, because on election day the only supporters who matter are the ones who bother to cast ballots.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

23 Comments

A new poll shows Olivia Chow falling way behind

This latest mayoral poll from Forum Research, conducted on September 29 and released earlier this morning, contains no surprises. The survey of 1202 Torontonians puts John Tory right where he’s been for the past two months: out in front. Olivia Chow, meanwhile, doesn’t do so well. This is the worst she has fared relative to Tory in a Forum poll to date. These numbers are roughly consistent with the results of yesterday’s Mainstreet Technologies poll.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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Doug Ford gains on John Tory in the latest mayoral poll

A poll released earlier today by political consultancy Mainstreet Technologies doesn’t give John Tory quite as much breathing room as last week’s Ipsos survey, but the essential message is the same: Tory is still the frontrunner, and Olivia Chow supporters are still getting harder to find. Mainstreet’s robocall canvass of 2,409 Torontonians found that Tory’s support is especially strong among people 45 and older. Also potentially good for Tory: the people who told Mainstreet that they support him also tended to express certainty that they would actually cast a ballot on election day. Supporters of Chow and Doug Ford, meanwhile, were less sure they’d turn out to vote.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

1 Comment

Another poll shows John Tory way ahead of Chow and Ford

A new poll, conducted this week by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Global News, shows John Tory maintaining and perhaps even widening his lead over Doug Ford and Olivia Chow. Tory dominates the citywide results, and Global reports that he’s also doing well in Etobicoke, the traditional Ford-family fiefdom, where he has 51 per cent support. The numbers in the chart above are among decided voters only. Of those polled by Ipsos, 12 per cent were still undecided.

The Informer

Stat

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Doug Ford’s downtown approval rating is ridiculously low

11.8%
—The percentage of people living within the borders of the pre-amalgamation city of Toronto who described their attitudes toward new mayoral candidate Doug Ford as “positive,” according to a recent poll conducted by Nanos Research for the Globe and Mail and CTV News. (Another 8.3 per cent were willing to go as far as “somewhat positive.”) By contrast, Ford managed a 25.7 per cent positive response in his native Etobicoke.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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Yet another poll puts John Tory in the lead in the mayoral race

Like Sunday’s Mainstreet Technologies poll, this new poll of 1,000 Torontonians by Nanos Research, conducted on behalf of the Globe and Mail and CTV News and released on Monday night, shows John Tory exactly where he has been since at least the beginning of August: out in front of all his main rivals for the mayoralty. The difference? These numbers are Tory’s best to date—and they may be even better than they appear. When voters who have yet to make up their minds are filtered out, the former Ontario PC leader gets 49 per cent of the decided vote. A Forum poll, also released on Monday, shows Tory with a slightly more modest advantage.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

1 Comment

John Tory maintains his lead in the latest mayoral poll

With the municipal election now just a month away, John Tory remains comfortably ahead of both Olivia Chow and Doug Ford in the mayoral race, according to a new poll conducted on Sunday by Mainstreet Technologies. The survey was an unusually large one, with 2,469 respondents and a margin of error of ±1.98%, and was done by Interactive Voice Response (i.e. robocalls), which some pollsters aren’t fans of. That didn’t stop Mainstreet Technologies’ president Quito Maggi from drawing a conclusion or two: in spite of other polling that put Doug Ford’s support first at 34%, then at 28%, Maggi is quoted in a press release as saying that Ford “could threaten Tory before election day,” since “John Tory may have peaked too early and has little room to grow.”

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

1 Comment

Yet another poll puts John Tory way out in front

A new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid for Global News tells a much different story than the ones done late last week, in the immediate aftermath of Rob Ford’s withdrawal from the mayoral race. Unlike those two earlier polls, which disagreed on Doug Ford’s standing (one gave him second place, while the other put him a distant third), this latest one seems consistent with what we were seeing prior to Friday’s shakeup. Doug’s vote percentage, in this online poll of 586 Torontonians, is close to what Rob was getting in the weeks leading up to his health crisis. If it’s true that voters consider the two brothers to be virtually interchangeable, then this kind of similarity in poll results would make sense. There’s one way in which this poll agrees with all other recent polls, though: it gives John Tory a commanding lead. If he hadn’t already cemented his frontrunner status, he certainly has now.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

3 Comments

Doug Ford enters the mayoral race in second place, maybe


There are a few things about this latest Forum Research poll, released on Friday, that are a little suspect. For one, another poll, conducted by a lesser-known agency, shows Doug Ford at just 16 per cent, with John Tory at 45. That’s a disparity way outside any margin of error. Another possible source of trouble: both polls were done just hours after Rob Ford withdrew and Doug announced his candidacy, while the entire city was still reeling from the news. And both, of course, are subject to the usual pitfalls of any political polling. The only thing everyone seems to agree on? This is now officially Tory’s opportunity to win an election, for a change. If he becomes the consensus anti-Ford candidate, he may just be able to pull it off.

The Informer

People

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Q&A: Darrell Bricker, the Toronto guy who knows everything about election polling

(Image: Claire Foster)

(Image: Claire Foster)

Polls don’t just measure political campaigns; as wonky as they sometimes are, they can actually shape outcomes. The latest example? David Soknacki’s exit from the mayoral race following a disappointing showing in a survey by Forum Research. Even as the candidates base major decisions on polls, though, many of us don’t really understand how they’re conducted, or what the results mean. We sat down with Darrell Bricker—who is the Toronto-based CEO of the public-affairs branch of Ipsos, one of the top market-research firms in the world—to talk about the nature of polling, and how to tell the good polls from the bad.

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