Surrey Residents Ponder Their Choices for Mayor

The ward system proposal is popular among residents, while the ferris wheel near Patullo Bridge is not.

Vancouver, BC – With less than four months to go before Surrey elects a new mayor, Doug McCallum and Linda Hepner hold similar levels of potential support among residents who are gauging their options, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of Surrey residents also shows that the public reacted positively to McCallum’s proposal to elect City Council through a ward system, but not to Hepner’s idea of of constructing a ferris wheel near the Patullo Bridge.

Among the two declared candidates, McCallum holds a higher level of familiarity (83%) than Hepner (67%). Both contenders are recognized by most residents aged 55 and over (96% for McCallum and 81% for Hepner), but the former mayor has a higher level of familiarity than the current councilor among residents aged 18 to 34 (64% to 46%) and those aged 35 to 54 (87% to 74%).

“It is too early to ask a head-to-head voting intention question, as some potential candidates have not officially launched their campaigns,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “We looked instead at how many residents who are familiar with either one of the two declared contenders already consider them as options worthy of their vote in November.”

Among those who are familiar with McCallum, 40% say they are “very likely” or “moderately likely” to vote for him in the mayoral election. The numbers are very similar for Hepner, with 37% of those who are acquainted with her being “very likely” or “moderately likely” to support her in November.

McCallum’s proposal to elect the Surrey City Council by neighbourhood wards resonated with the population, with 53% of residents calling it a “very good” or “good” idea. Conversely, Hepner’s suggestion to build a ferris wheel on the beach wedged between the Patullo and SkyTrain bridges was deemed “bad” or “very bad” by 72% of Surrey residents.

Slide1

Following three years of single party rule in City Council, Surrey residents appear to be ready for their municipal government to work in a different fashion. Almost two thirds of residents (64%) would like to have councilors who can work together in a coalition, while 21% favour independent councilors. Only 5% of residents prefer to have councilors who represent a political party.

Crime (45%) continues to be the top issue facing the city, followed by transportation (21%), poverty (10%) and economic development (8%).

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 July 17 to July 21, 2014, among 507 residents of the City of Surrey, British Columbia, who are aged 18+ and 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 age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

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

 

Photograph: Casey Yee