TORONTO - He really is the mega-mayor.
Garnering 383,501 of the 813,984 votes cast, Rob Ford is now a Canadian politician near the top in terms of popular vote.
Ford, 41, has won the largest direct election, with the most Canadian voters participating, than any other politician, in any other race — save former Mayor Mel Lastman who won back-to-back elections in 1997 and 2000.
While more people vote in a provincial or federal election, the premier or prime minister is still only directly elected by the constituents in their individual riding.
Lastman did have more votes cast for him in the 2000 race. Facing little opposition, more than 483,000 ballots were cast for then-mayor Mel. His closest rival only garnered 51,111 votes.
In 1997, Lastman faced a huge voter turnout but still earned 387,848 votes.
But University of Toronto professor Nelson Wiseman said while the big vote does give Ford an element of “democratic legitimacy,” it likely won’t make much of a difference.
“Do senior levels of government have to take you more seriously? Not necessarily, you still have to go begging cap-in-hand,” he said. “Had he won with 80%, but even then, I’m not sure the province would roll over.”
Although his record feat may not be a huge help, this other fact might make him smile.
With the massive voter turnout, that could be as high as 52% when the official results are published, more Torontonians cast a ballot for Ford in this election than for Mayor David Miller in both his 2003 and 2006 election campaigns.