New poll puts Bill Smith in the mayor’s chair in Calgary
A new poll, released just three days ahead of Election Day in the city, indicates that Calgary will be seeing a new face at city hall when the dust settles on Monday.
The survey, conducted by Mainstreet and Postmedia, says that Bill Smith is ahead of the incumbent mayor Naheed Nenshi by 13 points.
The pollster says that this has been one of the most vicious and negative campaigns it has ever seen and it’s likely going to be those strategies that end up deciding which way voters will go on October 16.
Drawing from a pool of 1,500 Calgarians, the poll found that 47 percent support Bill Smith in the race while only 36 percent are backing Nenshi. 10 percent of those polled were still undecided.
Mainstreet found that the only area that Nenshi had an advantage over Smith on was in the 35 to 49-year-old demographic. 42 percent of respondents in that range supported Nenshi as opposed to 40 percent who supported Smith.
Surprisingly, a majority of younger voters who answered the poll supported Smith (45 percent) while only 35 percent of that group supported Nenshi. The figure comes as a surprise to many because Nenshi has been seen as popular among younger voters for some time.
Mainstreet Research says that the main reason that voters support Bill Smith is because of his promise to hold the line on taxes.
“27 percent of Smith voters said they are supporting him because of his promise to hold the line on taxes. 22% said he was the best option among the candidates available and 17 percent said his values reflect their values,” Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research, said.
Meanwhile, those who support Nenshi say they do because of how he represents Calgary provincially, nationally and globally.
While Mainstreet’s is the latest poll to be released on the election, two other polls were released this week that had different results.
One had Smith coming out on top while the other had Nenshi ahead of the challenger.
All of the polls have been scrutinized by political scientists and politicians alike about the group polled and the polling methods used.
Mainstreet has defended itself, saying that it has full confidence that recent polls and survey conducted over the past few years will be ‘fully validated and vindicated’ on October 16 when Bill Smith is elected as mayor.
Naheed Nenshi, speaking at a meeting with a number of the city's entrepreneurs on Friday morning, said he has no idea if the election is a close one. "That's actually the big challenge here; this is an election that is being run in the absence of evidence. We've only had four public polls, three of which are from the same company and have caused pollsters to really scratch their heads."
Nenshi said that there is 'bunch of weirdness' going on when it comes to polling this campaign.
"All I gotta go is go out on the street every single day, 18 hours a day, like I've been doing for seven years, shaking people's hands, talking to them about their hopes for the city and telling them about my vision and fighting for every single vote. But as I say, what we learned in 2010, is that Calgarians want a campaign of ideas. They want a campaign of what is possible. They want a campaign of what can happen in the future."
He says that despite what any of the polls say, he feels confident heading into Election Day on Monday.