Olivia Chow continues to grow her significant lead in the polls, while she and other top candidates prepare to square off tonight in the first major debate ahead of Toronto’s mayoral by-election next month.

A Forum Research poll conducted on Saturday found that 36 per cent of decided and leaning voters favoured Chow, up three percentage points from last weekend, when Forum conducted a similar poll over a two-day period.

“The poll was conducted by Forum Research with the results based on an interactive voice response telephone survey of 1,029 randomly selected Toronto residents over the age of 18, 71 per cent by cellphone and 29 per cent on landlines,” Forum Research said in a press release.

Forum’s poll conducted last weekend on May 6 and 7 had Mark Saunders and Josh Matlow tied for second place behind Chow with 14 per cent support each amongst decided and leaning voters.

However, their most recent poll suggests that Saunders has separated himself from the pack as the clear runner-up.

“Support for Mark Saunders rose to 18 per cent, while Josh Matlow and Mitzie Hunter are tied for third at 10 per cent,” the press release read.

“About one in five of those surveyed remain undecided.”

Forum says that among those surveyed, the most important issues in the mayoral election were housing affordability and the cost of living and inflation; consistent with the previous week’s poll.

A second poll, conducted on Friday and Saturday by Liaison Strategies for the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC), tells a similar story, though it suggests the race for second place is a lot closer.

Liaison surveyed a random sample of 1,318 Torontonians through interactive voice recording on Friday and Saturday.

The survey found that amongst decided voters, Chow was the clear front-runner, with 30 per cent support, followed by Saunders with 16 per cent and Matlow just one percentage point back at 15 per cent.

Tied for third and fourth place respectively were Hunter and Brad Bradford, each with 12 per cent. According to Forum’s most recent poll, Bradford had only half that support; favoured by six per cent of decided or leaning voters who were surveyed.

Edging Bradford in Forum’s most recent poll was Ana Bailão, with seven per cent support amongst decided or leaning voters.

Liaison’s most recent poll also had Bailão at seven per cent, while 32 per cent of respondents were still undecided.

This new data about the top candidates comes as a handful of them prepare to square off in the first major mayoral debate of the campaign, being hosted tonight by the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Chow, Saunders, Matlow, Hunter, Bailão and Bradford were all asked to participate in the debate, however Saunders declined his invitation, according to the Daily Bread’s website.

The debate will be held tonight at the Daily Bread Food Bank in Etobicoke from 7 to 9 p.m.


Forum Research’s poll was conducted on May 13th, 2023. Results based on the total sample are considered accurate +/- 3%, 19 times out of 20. Subsample and regional results will be less accurate.

Liaison surveyed a random sample of 1,318 Torontonians through Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) from May 12 to May 13, 2023. Respondents were screened for voter eligibility. Responses were weighted using demographic and geographic information to targets based on the 2021 Census. The margin of error for survey results is ± 2.69 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 for the total. Results may not add up to 100 due to rounding.