Toronto 2023 Mayoral Election Odds
Canadian bookmakers believe Olivia Chow is the runaway frontrunner to win the upcoming Toronto mayoral election following another impressive poll that puts her way ahead of her rivals.
Chow, a former NDP MP, is seeking to succeed John Tory after he quit earlier this year following revelations of an affair with a staffer. She had previously finished third behind Tory when the pair ran for mayor in 2014.
That is according to sportsbooks offering political betting odds, which believe Chow has very few genuine rivals for the post, despite 102 candidates announcing their intention to run.
We’re midway through the 12-week campaign now, and 66-year-old Chow catches the eye like few other candidates. She has pledged to build 25,000 city-owned rental homes, reversing service cuts to the TTC, and bring forward a “new deal” from provincial and federal governments to improve Toronto’s public services.
Her rivals, namely Mark Saunders and Ana Bailao, have struggled to cut through with voters in the same way. And it means the bookies are looking increasingly like they are making Chow the favourite ahead of election day.
Toronto Mayoral Election Odds
Betting on Toronto Mayor
One glance at the odds shows you just how in front Chow is in this race. The bookies price her at 1.40, which carries a 71.4% probability that she will win the election. This is also reflected in the polls, where Chow is peaking at 34 points. By contrast, Saunders and Josh Matlow poll at 12%, and Bailao at 7%.
Interestingly, FanDuel has opted to raise Matlow’s odds in recent weeks. He is polling as the joint-second favourite for the post, but is only the fifth favourite in the odds. Here, we look at the top candidates to be the next Toronto mayor.
Olivia Chow – 1.40
Chow is the big frontrunner and has the profile required to capture voters' attention. Chow has been a figurehead in Toronto politics since the early 1990s and was married to former NDP leader, the late Jack Layton. Sportsbooks expect her to win – but haven’t we been here before? Chow led the polls during the 2014 mayoral campaign but came third. Her big pitch on transport didn’t land nine years ago. This time, she’s campaigning on Toronto’s housing and rent crisis, hoping to gain votes here.
Mark Saunders – 5.50
Toronto’s former police chief, Mark Saunders carries plenty of heft in this mayoral campaign. His brand of progressive conservatism appeals to those in the suburbs of Scarborough and Don Valley, but perhaps not in downtown Toronto. However, Saunders has lost support after criticizing the outgoing Tory – so much so that FanDuel sees his odds move to 5.50.
Ana Bailao – 6.50
A close ally of Tory, Ana Bailao could pull in the conservative vote if locals decide to vote tactically. Bailao is the alternative option to Chow in many ways, even though she is also focused on public transit as a top priority. Bailao was deputy mayor under Tory but is polling below Saunders at 7%. If a conservative is to win this election, there needs to be one candidate everyone can back.
Mitzie Hunter – 14.00
Mitzie Hunter is the top Liberal pick for the Toronto Mayoral election and is polling steadily at 10%. Her presence in the race is enough for political betting sites to give her a 7% chance of winning the election, which appears slim right now. However, Hunter at least has some policies to throw at the electorate. She has a five-point plan that includes creating the City Affordable Housing Corporation (TAHC). It’s a tempting offer that outlines plans to speed up approval and building processes, so Toronto’s stagnant housing market can get back on track.
But will non-conservative voters back Hunter over Chow? Right now, probably not. But there are still a few weeks before this election, so the odds could well move.
Josh Matlow – 18.00
Josh Matlow is another liberal option for voters in Toronto and polls two points better than Hunter. However, his odds have floated out to 18.00. That’s primarily because he has been so critical of Tory, who remains popular with the electorate. Matlow is another candidate seeking to champion building and construction projects as the backbone of his campaign. He plans to remove developer profits and build 100,000 new homes on 25 million square feet of public land.
City mayors like big projects and Matlow certainly isn’t shy of his ambition. But the bookies think his votes will go elsewhere come election day.
How Toronto Major By-Election Works
The 2023 Toronto mayor by-election takes place on June 26. It was triggered by Mayor John Tory’s resignation after an affair with a staffer was made public. More than 100 people have put their names forward to be candidates in the election, but the big focus is on Chow, Saunders, Matlow, and Bailao.
A handful of mayoral debates have been announced – although, mercifully, they don’t feature all 102 candidates.
The election takes place in a first-past-the-post (FPTP) system. That means whichever candidate has the most votes gets the job, no matter their vote share. With 102 candidates, the mayor could mathematically be voted in with less than 3% of the vote.
Of course, this isn’t going to happen. Chow and Saunders should get most of the votes. Chow is polling at 34%, which means she would become mayor without the majority approval of Toronto’s citizens.
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