WITH just over a month to go before Vancouverites elect their new mayor, the absence of a contender from the governing Vision Vancouver party appears to have benefited independent candidate Kennedy Stewart, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative sample of City of Vancouver residents, 36% of decided voters say they will vote for Stewart in next month’s election, up 11 points since a Research Co. poll conducted in July.
Ken Sim of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) is in second place with 25% (-1 since July poll), followed by independent candidate Shauna Sylvester with 17% (+6), Hector Bremner of Yes Vancouver with 7% (+2) and David Chen of ProVancouver with 4% (unchanged).
Support is lower for Wai Young of Coalition Vancouver (3%, -5), Fred Harding of Vancouver First (also 3%) and Connie Fogal of Idea Vancouver (2%).
The level of undecided voters in the City of Vancouver stands at 31% this month.
The survey was conducted after the final list of mayoral candidates was released by the city on September 14. Vision Vancouver mayoral contender Ian Campbell—who had the support of 18% of decided voters in July—withdrew from the race on September 10.
Stewart holds a 23-point lead over Sim among female decided voters (44% to 21%), while Sim is slightly ahead of Stewart among male decided voters (32% to 29%).
“The departure of Ian Campbell from the mayoral race has definitely helped Stewart, who currently has the support of 45% of Vancouverites who voted for Gregor Robertson in the last mayoral election,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Sim is connecting well with the NPA’s traditional base, and is holding on to 49% of the voters who supported Kirk LaPointe in 2014.”
Across the city, two-thirds of residents (67%) believe housing is the most important issue facing Vancouver, followed by transportation (9%), poverty (also 9%) and economic development (5%).
Results are based on an online study conducted from September 15 to 18. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.