Robertson Leads, LaPointe Gaining in Vancouver Mayoral Race

Incumbent mayor still seen as the best choice for environment and housing, but NPA challenger connecting well with voters on development and city finances.

Vancouver, BC – As the Vancouver municipal campaign enters its final week, incumbent Gregor Robertson of Vision Vancouver holds a slight edge over challenger Kirk LaPointe, with more than a quarter of residents still trying to make up their minds, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of City of Vancouver residents found that almost half (47%) hold a positive opinion of Robertson, while 43% have favourable views of Non-Partisan Association (NPA) mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe—a 19-point increase since a similar Insights West survey conducted in August. Significantly fewer Vancouverites (33%) hold positive views of Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) candidate Meena Wong (33%).

The approval rating for Mayor Robertson stands at 46% (-6 since October). Residents aged 18 to 34 are particularly satisfied with the way Robertson is handling his duties (56%), while a majority of those aged 55 and over (61%) disapprove of his performance.

Housing (44%) remains the most important issue for residents, followed by transportation (16%), poverty (11%) and economic development (9%).

The Campaign

Across Vancouver, three-in-five residents (60%) are following the mayoral campaign “very closely” or “moderately closely”—a proportion that jumps to 81% among those aged 55 and over.

Robertson posts a negative momentum score as the election draws near, with 6% of residents saying their views of the incumbent mayor have improved, and 25% saying they have worsened (for a momentum score of -19). Both LaPointe (+4) and Wong (also +4) have positive momentum scores.

Among decided voters in the mayoral election, Robertson is in first place with 46%, followed by LaPointe with 41% and Wong with 9%. More than a quarter of residents (27%) intend to take part in the election, but have not settled on a mayoral candidate to support yet.

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Robertson’s lead is primarily driven by women (53%), residents aged 18 to 34 (57%) and those aged 35 to 54 (50%). However, more than a third of people who voted for the incumbent mayor in 2011 are now looking elsewhere, with 25% stating they would vote for LaPointe and 10% saying they would support Wong.

LaPointe is the top choice for male voters (46% compared with 40%) and residents aged 55 and over (53% compared with 36%). He is also holding on to a large majority of voters who supported NPA candidate Suzanne Anton in the 2011 election (86%).

Most decided voters who are supporting either of the two main contenders are certain of their choice (79% for LaPointe, and 69% for Robertson). However, 42% of Wong’s decided voters say they could change their mind before election day.

“The two main contenders in Vancouver’s mayoral race are doing a good job rekindling with the traditional constituencies of their parties,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The final week of campaigning provides an opportunity to attract the votes of the more than one-in-four Vancouverites who are still pondering their options.”

Robertson is seen as the best person to handle the environment (45%), parks and recreation (34%), arts and culture (32%), transportation (31%), housing (27%) and poverty (26%), while LaPointe is ahead on city finances and taxation (32%), economic development (also 32%) and crime (26%).

“Housing continues to be the foremost concern for residents, and Mayor Robertson is regarded as the best person to handle that file,” continues Canseco. “However, LaPointe has made great strides during the campaign to connect on economic issues, and is now seen as an optimal financial manager.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has seventeen employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 6 to November 8, 2014, among 505 City of Vancouver residents aged 18+ who are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for Vancouver for age, gender and region. Results have a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for this study.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph:  Matthew Grapengieser