Two years after he was elected to the mayor’s chair, Torontonians appear to be split on whether Rob Ford has been good or bad for the city, a new poll suggests.

According to a Forum Research poll released exclusively to CP24 on Monday, 52 per cent of respondents think Ford has been bad for Toronto, while 41 per cent think the mayor has been a good influence.

In addition to gauging their opinion about the present and past, the survey asked people to predict the outcome of the upcoming two years before the next municipal election in 2014.

More people think things will get worse (48 per cent) during the second half of Ford’s four-year term than those who think things will improve (37 per cent).

As for Ford’s approval rating, it has climbed three points to 44 per cent, Forum Research said.

People older than 44, drivers and those living outside the former City of Toronto or East York were most likely to approve of Ford, the poll found.

Chow could beat Ford

Forum Research also asked people to look ahead to the 2014 municipal election and possible mayoral candidates.

In a one-on-one matchup between Ford, who has said repeatedly he intends to seek re-election, and MP Olivia Chow, the federal politician would garner 49 per cent of the vote, while Ford would pick up 34 per cent, the poll suggests.

In June, the last time Forum Research asked respondents about a Chow-Ford matchup, Chow garnered 58 per cent support.

People who identified themselves as provincial NDP, Green and Liberal supporters, transit users and residents of the former City of Toronto or East York said they are more likely to vote for Chow.

Chow has not publicly declared any interest in the mayor’s chair.

Here are more highlights from the survey:

  • Close to one-half of respondents believe the best way for the GTA to grow is to build more single-family homes in the suburbs, rather than building high rises downtown
  • Close to one half of Torontonians disagree with a plan to close the Toronto Police Service's 54 Division in East York
  • More than half of Torontonians agree that the Toronto Police Service should stay within its designated budget, and hire accordingly
  • If a provincial election were held tomorrow, the NDP would win in Toronto (35%), with the PCs in second place (32%). The Liberals would place third (30%).

Forum Research said the poll was conducted Thursday by an interactive voice response system among a randomly selected sample of 614 Torontonians who are 18 years of age or older.

Results based on the total sample are considered accurate to within four per cent, 19 times out of 20, although subsample results will be less accurate.

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