Reports of Rob Ford’s political demise may have been premature, according to a new poll.

The telephone poll by Forum Research has found that the three main contenders in the mayoral race are in a statistical tie with Olivia Chow enjoying the support of 29 per cent of respondents while John Tory sits at 28 per cent and Ford comes in third with 27 per cent. Karen Stintz (five per cent) and David Soknacki (five per cent) rounded out the field.

Chow is down seven points from a similar poll conducted on July 2 while Tory and Ford are both up one point.

The virtual tie represents a dramatic swing from a poll conducted during Ford’s two-month rehab stay when his support dipped to 22 per cent and Chow had an 11 point advantage over him and a six point edge on Tory.

It should be noted, however, that the latest poll from Forum Research paints a considerably different picture from a Nanos poll two weeks ago that gave Tory a seven point lead over Chow and a 17 point lead over Ford.

“It appears that Rob Ford is not going away anytime soon, but neither has he been able to maintain his pre‐rehab levels of popularity, even among the demographic groups we know are sympathetic to him. John Tory, once a second place contestant, is now in the front ranks, but it appears advantage is still to Chow," Forum Research President Dr. Lorne Bozinoff said in a press release accompanying the poll

In the event of a three-way race between the main contenders, the poll puts Chow ahead with 35 per cent of the vote compared to 32 per cent for Tory and 27 per cent for Ford.

Tory, meanwhile, enjoyed the highest approval rating with 67 per cent compared to 54 per cent for Chow, 48 per cent for Soknacki, 44 per cent for Stintz, and 33 per cent for Ford.

“I don’t comment on polls; that’s for the pundits, but in my travels on subways and at festivals people come up to me and say ‘we need after school activities, better access to parks, more buses,’ so my policies are really quite popular,” Chow told CP24 Wednesday afternoon. “People are saying ‘we like your ideas Olivia.’ As for whether I am up, down, I’ll leave it for you to comment on.”

The telephone poll of 1,063 random Torontonians is considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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