Here is what Winnipeggers consider the most important issue ahead of the election

Nearly 50 per cent of Winnipeggers say crime and public safety has become the most important issue as the municipal election enters the home stretch.

According to a Probe Research survey shared with CTV Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press, 49 per cent of respondents have listed concerns over crime, vandalism, drugs and violence as the biggest issue facing the city. The number has spiked significantly from June, when 19 per cent of respondents listed it as their biggest issue.

The results of a Probe Research poll commissioned by CTV News Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press. Probe Research conducted a random survey of 600 adults living in Winnipeg between September 8 and 18, 2022. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)

The survey found those living in the city’s core (58 per cent) and the northwest area (56 per cent) were most concerned about crime.

Forty-three per cent of those who considered crime and violence their top issue were in the 18-34-year-old age range, and 50 per cent of people over 35 years old, had crime as their top concern. The survey also found that those making more than $100,000 per year (55 per cent), homeowners (51 per cent) and supporters of the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives (58 per cent) were the ones most concerned about crime.

The results of a Probe Research poll commissioned by CTV News Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press. Probe Research conducted a random survey of 600 adults living in Winnipeg between September 8 and 18, 2022. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)

Mary Agnes Welch with Probe Research says the spike over the summer is due to several high-profile incidents that occurred, including stabbings at The Forks. She adds that topics, such as crime, are often more visible and top of mind for Winnipeggers during the summer.

“Most Winnipeggers have not experienced violent crime,” she said. “But I think we’ve all had experiences with, you know, our cars getting broken into, or our stuff disappearing from our yard.”

Poverty, homelessness and affordable housing, once the top issue in the election in July, sits at second place, with 27 per cent seeing it as their primary issue. In June, 26 per cent of voters listed it as their top concern, falling to 22 per cent in July.

The issue of poverty and homelessness saw the greatest support in the core, with 48 per cent of residents saying it was the biggest issue, followed by 35 per cent in the northeast.

The results of a Probe Research poll commissioned by CTV News Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press. Probe Research conducted a random survey of 600 adults living in Winnipeg between September 8 and 18, 2022. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)

The poll found that poverty concerns had higher support among women (38 per cent to 24 per cent among men) and supporters of the Manitoba NDP (40 per cent, compared to 35 per cent among Manitoba Liberal supporters and 19 per cent among Progressive Conservative supporters).

Welch said crime and poverty are connected issues that mayoral candidates are looking to address.

“One of the things that we see among Winnipeggers now is … it’s kind of shifted a little bit away from let’s hire more cops, we need more enforcement on the streets to deal with these things, and a bit of a shift towards there are root causes to crime,” she said.

The results of a Probe Research poll commissioned by CTV News Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press. Probe Research conducted a random survey of 600 adults living in Winnipeg between September 8 and 18, 2022. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)

Other issues identified by Winnipeggers include health care (15 per cent), the state of roads/infrastructure (11 per cent) and the cost of living (8 per cent).

Election day is Oct. 26.

METHODOLOGY

Probe Research collected these results during a random survey of 600 adults living in Winnipeg between Sept. 8 and 18.

Probe Research said with this sample, it can say with 95 per cent certainty that the results are within +/- four percentage points of what they would be if the entire adult population in the city was surveyed. The margin of error is higher in the survey subgroups.

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