10/07/2014 11:14 EDT | Updated 12/07/2014 05:59 EST

Doug Ford makes gains in Toronto mayor's race, poll suggests

A new poll suggests Doug Ford has made significant gains in the Toronto mayor's race and is in a virtual dead heat with John Tory.

The Forum Research poll released Monday pegs Ford's support at 37 per cent, with Tory support at 39 per cent. Olivia Chow remains in third with 22 per cent.

The poll, conducted Monday afternoon and evening using an interactive telephone survey, was based on a random sample of 1,218 voters and has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points 19 times out of 20. At this sample size, the results essentially show Tory and Ford in a statistical tie.

Éric Grenier is the founder of, a website dedicated to political polling in Canada. He has reviewed the Forum data and said the results could be "an outlier" and must be viewed with some suspicion until they're confirmed by other polls.

"Polls are guilty until proven innocent; we should wait and see what the other numbers show in the coming days," said Grenier.

The results are in stark contrast to a Forum poll conducted on Sept. 29 that showed Tory with 43 per cent support and a 10-point lead over Ford at 33 per cent, with Chow polling at 20 per cent.

Support for Chow, a former NDP MP, has essentially flat-lined, the Forum poll suggests.

Grenier's site averages data from numerous different polls and gauges Tory in the lead with 43 per cent, Doug Ford in second with 34 per cent and Chow with 22 per cent. Grenier also analyzes polls for CBC News.

Toronto voters head to the polls on Oct. 27.