Toronto's mayor is Ontario's unofficial opposition leader - 2019-05-08
Yes, Ontario's premier has a demonstrated talent for beating weak or wounded opponents, as he did in the 2018 Progressive Conservative leadership race, and in the general election that followed. But put him up against a well-respected rival? Ford comes out a loser. That's what happened in the 2014 mayoral race, when John Tory defeated Ford.
When he switched to provincial politics, Ford looked forward to having the last laugh as premier — cutting Tory's Toronto down to size by meddling in the municipal election and slashing funding. But he's not laughing now. A new poll published in Wednesday's Star shows that in the eyes of the people, Tory still comes out ahead of Ford, our self-styled premier of the people. Not just in Toronto, but across Ontario. If an election were held now and Tory ran under the embattled Liberal banner, he'd topple Ford. That's according to one of those amusing opinion surveys that mean everything and nothing — nothing, because Tory won't run for premier; everything, because it sends a humiliating signal to Ford that he is eminently beatable by the right opponent.
Just not the usual suspects. Everyone now running to replace Ford as premier — from little-known candidates for the Liberal leadership to the NDP's Andrea Horwath — falls far short of Tory's winnability.