New polling from Probe Research finds Glen Murray is still the candidate to beat in Winnipeg’s upcoming mayoral election.
The new poll, commissioned by CTV Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press, shows Murray with a commanding lead among candidates from respondents, with 40 per cent of decided voters saying they will vote for him.
“I take it as a huge responsibility,” Murray said Friday. “A lot of Winnipeggers are putting a lot of trust in me and our campaign to deliver on some very clear commitments to deal with our roads and our infrastructure and to deal with getting crime and dealing with homelessness and addictions. These things are really important to get the city’s finances back in shape, get the city back on track.”
“I take that responsibility and that commitment to maintaining and earning their public trust really important. When I see poll numbers like that, that just puts a real sense of responsibility that we have to the people of Winnipeg.”
Murray, whose support dropped four percentage points from a July survey also completed by Probe, holds more than a two-to-one advantage over his next closest competitor. Fifteen per cent of decided voters said they would vote for Scott Gillingham, a one per cent drop from July.
Gillingham says people are starting to pay attention to the election.
“My focus doesn’t change,” he said. “I’m focused on delivering a credible plan for a stronger Winnipeg, and that really compares to you know, Glen’s nostalgia. And I think by the time people get to the voting booth, they realize it’s a clear choice between the future that’s stronger or yesterday’s nostalgia.”
Shaun Loney saw the biggest increase in support, among mayoral candidates, going from six per cent among decided voters in July to 14 per cent this month, putting him in third place. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, who was third in July, saw the biggest drop in support, from 13 per cent down to seven.
“We’re very excited, obviously, to double our support in such a short amount of time,” Loney said. “Winnipeg is really struggling with some major issues like homelessness and crime, and this is my expertise. And our hope is that Winnipeggers are seeing what I can offer the city.”
Kevin Klein, who entered the race in late July, ranks fourth with 10 per cent of decided voters saying they’d vote for him.
“I would encourage people not to look at polls,” he said. “Even if I was number one, I would tell you the same thing. You have to look at the resume of people running, you have to look at the facts, and you have to look at their background and say ‘that’s a person who can manage the system.’”
The remaining candidates all received single digit or no support in the poll.
Jenny Motkaluk, who was runner-up in 2018, has received four per cent support, while former Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari received three per cent support. Rick Shone also received three per cent support, while Don Woodstock and Idris Adelakun received one per cent support, and Chris Clacio received zero per cent support.
The survey also included four candidates -Vincent Gabriele, Govind Thawani, Jessica Peebles, and Desmond Thomas- who registered to run for mayor, but did not complete the nomination process by the Sept. 20 deadline. Of the candidates, Gabriele and Thawani each received one per cent support, while Peebles and Thomas received zero per cent.
MURRAY’S BROAD RANGE OF SUPPORT
Murray’s popularity in the poll comes from a broad range of people in the city. According to the poll, he leads in all areas of Winnipeg, with the highest percentage of support (48 per cent) in the city’s core.
He is also significantly popular among women (49 per cent to 34 per cent men) and most popular among provincial NDP supporters (50 per cent) and provincial Liberal supporters (53 per cent).
“He has some of these key pockets of voters sort of locked down; older folks, women, he’s got support across the city, not just in the core,” said Mary Agnes Welch with Probe Research. “There’s broad and reasonably solid support for him.”
The poll also shows Murray has 44 per cent support from people earning less than $50,000 a year, and 32 per cent support from people earning more than $100,000 a year.
Gillingham is the most popular candidate among supporters of the Progressive Conservatives (32 per cent), while Klein is ranked second among Tory supporters (20 per cent).
Loney is the second most popular candidate among provincial NDP supporters with 23 per cent support, and has significantly higher support among university graduates.
Ouellette is the most popular candidate among Indigenous Winnipeggers (19 per cent) and BIPOC/racialized citizens (17 per cent).
Probe Research also took a look at undecided voters in the city, with results showing nearly four in 10 voters are still unsure about who they’re going to vote for.
According to the poll, 39 per cent of those who responded said they were undecided on who they would vote for, while another eight per cent will not vote on Oct. 26.
Even among those who have decided on a mayoral candidate, only 41 per cent have said they are very certain they will vote for their choice, while 53 per cent say they are somewhat certain of their choice. Six per cent said they aren’t certain about their choice.
Welch said there are two ways voters can look at the current poll numbers.
“First, you could say Glen Murray has such a significant lead, that it’s almost insurmountable at this point,” she said. “The other way to look at it, though, is we still have a month, five weeks, and there is a really big, undecided pool of voters who could switch. They could kind of be the decider.
“We also might see a little bit of coalescing around one anti-Glen Murray candidate , whether that’s Gillingham or maybe Kevin Klein, that may also start to kind of foment in the next few weeks.”
Probe Research said 600 adults in Winnipeg were surveyed between Sept. 8 and 18.
“With a sample of 600, one can say with 95 per cent certainty that the results are within ± 4.0 percentage points of what they would have been if the entire adult population of Winnipeg had been surveyed. The margin of error is higher within each of the survey’s population subgroups,” Probe said.
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