Iveson popular, but lack of strong alternative helps: pollster
New poll numbers show incumbent mayor Don Iveson dominating the upcoming Edmonton mayoral race, but a lack of strong opposition to his campaign has left many voters undecided.
In a poll of a random sample of 800 Edmontonians questioned on Monday and Tuesday, provided by Mainstreet Research for Postmedia, 46 per cent of all respondents pledged their support to Iveson.
“He will get well over 50 per cent among decided voters,” said Quito Maggi, president and CEO of Mainstreet Research, predicting it is unlikely any other candidate will break into two-digit percentages once the votes are tallied.
Maggi said Thursday the results aren’t surprising since polling throughout Iveson’s term as mayor has shown strong and growing approval.
At the same time, a whopping 35 per cent of respondents said they were undecided less than a week before they are expected to cast their ballots.
“That’s very high at this stage in any election to have 35 per cent undecided. For context, in Calgary at this time the undecided is at nine per cent,” Maggi said.
“What it means is, likely some of those undecided voters aren’t going to vote because there are no really strong contenders in this election against mayor Iveson,” Maggi continued.
Other issues proved more divisive, with respondents split on whether they would like to see Edmonton’s photo radar program replaced with police enforcement and digital speed signage.
“I think largely people believe it is an intrusive measure, and so that’s why we’re seeing these results,” Maggi said.
Overall, 40 per cent of those polled wanted to see the photo radar program scrapped, while 38 per cent disagreed.
“It is an issue that is very divisive, so there is a caution there in terms of the political capital that anybody wants to spend on photo radar,” said Maggi.
The issue of bike lanes has been brought up in candidate forums across the city, but the majority of those polled — 55 per cent — opposed putting bike lanes on city streets while support across various age groups hovered around 30 per cent.
While bike lanes have proven to be a hot topic for constituents, Maggi doesn’t see it as a make or break issue for candidates.