New poll says Liberals still have strong hold on ‘Fortress Toronto’

New poll says Liberals still have strong hold on ‘Fortress Toronto’

OTTAWA—The Liberals have maintained a commanding lead in their “Fortress Toronto,” with almost half of decided and leaning voters in Canada’s largest city saying they intend to support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party in the coming federal election, according to a new poll.

The survey of Torontonian voters by Forum Research found that 46 per cent of decided or leaning respondents intend to vote Liberal in the Oct. 21 federal election. Coming in second in the poll, way back at 26 per cent, are the Conservatives, followed by the New Democrats at 12 per cent.

Ten per cent of respondents said they intend to vote for the Greens, while 4 per cent said they would support the People’s Party of Canada.

The interactive phone survey was conducted July 3 to 6 and included 1,143 respondents from Toronto, of whom 1,042 had decided or were leaning toward who they will vote for later this year. The results are considered accurate within a margin of error of plus or minus 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

“The Liberals are once again showing a dominant lead over their political rivals in Fortress Toronto,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, in a statement that accompanied the poll.

That included Toronto—Danforth, the riding of former leader Jack Layton, where Liberal candidate Julie Dabrusin edged out NDP MP Craig Scott by just over 1,000 votes. Former city councillor Adam Vaughan also defeated Olivia Chow, a former MP and mayoral candidate who is Layton’s widow, in Spadina—Fort York.

This week, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh embarked on a tour of Ontario ridings held by the Liberals, which his party says they believe they can win in this year’s election. On Tuesday, he was in York—South Weston in west Toronto, which is currently held by Liberal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen. Singh was slated to return to the city after two days in Ottawa, where he was set to attend a festival in Toronto—Danforth.

In his statement, Bozinoff underscored what could be a “troubling sign” for New Democrats in Toronto: the strength of the Greens in his poll.

At 12 per cent support for the NDP and 10 for the Greens, the poll puts the parties in a statistical tie. If that carries through to the election, Bozinoff said it could make it more difficult for the NDP to win seats back from the Liberals in Toronto.

“If the Greens continue to rise in the city, potentially taking support away from the NDP, it could make it harder for the NDP to hold their seats, and consequently make it harder for the Conservatives to benefit from vote splitting, with a diminished NDP,” Bozinoff said.

Alex Ballingall is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @aballinga

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