The big news in Toronto the past few days has been Monday’s mayoral election that saw John Tory end Rob’s Ford as the city’s commander-in-chief, becoming the city’s 65th mayor. Tory captured 40.3% of the vote, earning 394,775 total votes. Doug Ford and Olivia each had solid performances to round out the top 3, with Ford earning 330,610 votes to Chow’s 226,879. Late Monday night at around 11pm, Tory addressed a crowd of supporters in acceptance of his victory, stating he would end the “division that has paralyzed City Hall,” and that he intends to lead the city “not left, not right, but forward.” (CBC). As the CBC reported, voter turnout for this election set a new record with 64.3% voter— or 974,363 votes — eclipsing significantly the 50.6% voter turnout achieved in the 2010 mayoral election, which saw Rob Ford claim 47% of the vote.
The John Tory victory comes as no surprise to many analysts and pollsters who forecasted such an outcome would occur. As Betsy Powell wrote in The Toronto Star, public opinion polls conducted on undecided voters leading up to Monday’s election were, for the most part, correct. Eric Grenier, a polling analyst at Mainstream Technologies, wrote on the website ThreeHundredEight.com:
“All of the polls were showing the exact same thing, which makes it more unlikely that there will be some sort of surprise…It was either they were all going to swim together or sink together.”
The poll that Mainstreet conducted, which polled 3,320 undecided voters four days prior to the vote, estimated the support levels for each candidate, calculating support for Ford at 34%, while slightly over-estimating support for Tory, and under-estimating support for Chow. Ipsos Reid conducted their own poll, which support for Tory at 42%, Ford 31% and Chow 25%. Senior VP John Wright called the results, “pretty damn accurate.”
The one element of this mayoral election that has a twisted irony to it, is the fact that, when it’s all said in done, Rob Ford still retains a seat in City Hall, while Doug Ford does not. Doug always touted himelf as the natural successor to Rob, while at the same time distancing himself from his brother’s legal and substance abuse issues. Rob’s scandal-ridden term in office, coupled with the recent public disclosure of his battle with cancer, as well as appearances on late night television, has given Rob Ford almost celebrity-like status. Because of this revelation, Rob would ultimately withdraw from the mayoral race, putting his name on the ballot in Ward 2 Etobicoke North instead, and opening the door for his brother Doug to run in the mayoral race. Rob would eventually go on to secure 58.9% of the vote in his council race, which really makes you think about what his chances might have been like had he decided to remain in the mayoral race.
In Rob’s victory speech, he stated in reference to Doug’s loss:
“My brother did an absolutely phenomenal job. If you know anything about the Ford family, we never, ever, ever give up. And I guarantee: in four more years, you’re going to see another example of the Ford family never ever giving up.”