Only a quarter of Torontonians believe Mayor Rob Ford should remain in office as he faces calls to resign or step aside after admitting to smoking crack cocaine, a new poll suggests.

The Ipsos Reid poll was conducted exclusively for CP24, CTV News and Newstalk 1010 amid the defiant mayor’s crack cocaine scandal.

While one quarter of respondents (24 per cent) believe Ford is fit to continue as mayor, most believe he should resign or take a leave of absence to deal with his personal issues.

Of those polled, 41 per cent said Ford should resign permanently and stay out of politics, while 35 per cent said the mayor should take a break for treatment, come back in a few months and run in the October 2014 municipal election.

Ford has ignored repeated calls to resign or step aside, saying he plans to remain in office and seek re-election next year.

The mayor appears to have little support there, as the poll found 70 per cent believe his plan to soldier on is not acceptable (49 per cent say not at all, 21 per cent say not really).

Just 30 per cent of respondents believe Ford’s plan is acceptable (11 per cent say very, 20 per cent say somewhat).

As he made his way to Wednesday's city council meeting, Ford dismissed the poll's findings.

"I don’t comment on polls. The only poll that matters is on October 27th," said Ford, looking ahead to the next municipal election.

Mayor’s approval rating falls

Over a period of two years, Ford’s approval rating has been on a downward spiral, according to polls conducted by Ipsos Reid.

In September 2011, the mayor had an approval rating of 62 per cent less than a year into his current four-year term.

That number dipped to 49 per cent in June 2012 and is now down to 40 per cent - a drop of 22 percentage points over two years - with the next election a year away, according to the poll released Wednesday morning.

It comes as no surprise that Ford’s approval rating is higher in the suburbs than it is in Toronto’s core.

He finds his strongest support in Scarborough (49 per cent), his home territory of Etobicoke (45 per cent) and North York (43 per cent), Ipsos Reid says.

His support is lower in York/East York (32 per cent) and old Toronto/downtown (29 per cent).

Toronto nearly split on media coverage

Ford’s scandal has received attention around the world and provided laughs for late-night comedians, and it appears many people are growing tired of the coverage.

Nearly half of Torontonians (46 per cent) agree that the media should back off and give Ford time to show that he has changed his ways, Ipsos Reid says.

Fifty-four per cent don’t think the media should let up on Ford.

Here are some additional highlights from the poll:

  • One-third (35%) of Torontonians believe the province should intervene, while two-thirds (65%) believe the province should stay out of the city’s affairs.
  • Only three in 10 residents agree with Ford’s statement that he has nothing left to hide.
  • Men are more likely than women to approve of the mayor’s performance (44 per cent to 36 per cent).
  • People over the age of 55 (43 per cent) are more likely to approve of Ford than those aged 18 to 34 (41 per cent) and 35 to 54 (37 per cent).
  • Ford’s approval ratings are highest among those who don’t have a school diploma (69 per cent) and people with some post-secondary education (48 per cent)
  • The mayor’s support is lower among those with only a high school diploma (37 per cent) and university graduates (34 per cent).

Ipsos Reid conducted the poll between Friday and Tuesday, surveying 665 Torontonians via an online panel. The poll is accurate to within 4.3 percentage points.

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