Like it or not, Doug Ford is on track to become Ontario’s next premier.
That’s according to a recent Forum Research survey that surveyed 923 random voters in Ontario. The poll suggests that if a provincial election was held today, the Progressive Conservatives (PCs) would win a majority by securing 44 per cent of the vote. The New Democrats and the Liberals are well behind the PCs with 27 and 23 per cent support, respectively.
The poll also suggested nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents disapproved of Ford as party leader, while 36 per cent said they approved of his leadership and 16 per cent weren’t sure.
For those familiar with Toronto politics, the Ford family may carry some baggage.
Rob Ford, the younger brother of Doug Ford, was elected mayor of Toronto after serving as a city councillor for a decade. During his term, the younger Ford faced relentless scrutiny after it was reported in 2013 that a video existed appearing to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.
The elder Ford, who was a Toronto city councillor at the time, took on the role of defending his brother. He, too, was accused of drug-related allegations. The Globe and Mail reported the elder Ford was once a hash dealer in the 1980s from the age of 15 to 22. Doug Ford vehemently denied the claims made in the article, calling the story an “outright lie.”
Rob Ford also denied the crack smoking allegations made against him for months until he infamously admitted to consuming the drug in an episode he called one of his “drunken stupors.”
The admission and scandal that surrounded it made international headlines. The Fords were mocked by comedians on U.S. television programs. Rob Ford even made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Doug Ford took Rob Ford’s place in Toronto’s 2014 mayoral race following a rare cancer diagnosis, but the move failed to secure a victory for the family. John Tory, who was formerly the Ontario PC Party leader, won the mayoral race, edging out the elder Ford by less than 65,000 votes. It was reported by some that the Ford loss marked the end of the Ford era.
Fast forward four years and a lot has changed. Rob Ford died of cancer in 2016. Donald Trump, a bombastic populist with a similar style to the Fords, was elected U.S. president later that year. And Kathleen Wynne, the leader of a party that has ruled Ontario since 2003, has been Canada’s most unpopular premier for years now, polls suggest.
Has the political environment in Ontario created the perfect storm for Doug Ford to become the province’s next premier? If the latest poll is any indication, it seems like there’s a real chance of Premier Ford becoming a reality.
So the real question is: Would you vote for Doug Ford to lead Ontario? Let us know what you think by voting in our poll above and sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.