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Edmontonians Support Social Housing – But Not In Their Backyard

October 14, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia produced for the Edmonton Journal & Edmonton Sun 48% of Edmontonians support more social and affordable housing spread throughout the city with only 29% opposed – but opposition jumps to 38% when respondents were asked about this housing going into their own backyard. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.62 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“There is a significant NIMBY sentiment when it comes to social and affordable housing,” said David Valentin, Executive Vice-President of Mainstreet Research. “Only 29% of Edmontonians oppose more affordable and social housing but that number jumps to 38% when we asked about their own neighbourhood. I would expect if we were polling specific projects we would see higher opposition than these numbers in the immediate vicinity.”

“Many experts will tell you that stigmatizing social and affordable housing is a problem – when you can’t spread the housing around and it’s all in the downtown it can cause significant issues and unintended consequences. On the other hand, it’s tough to stare down opposition from neighbourhood groups to these projects if you’re the local councillor. People perceive these developments lower property values and can increase crime even when that may not be the case.”

“We polled Edmontonians and found wide support for building a riverwalk similar to the Seawall in Vancouver. There are strong numbers for the project in every age and gender category.”

“Where we’re seeing a significant split in opinion is when we polled light rail transit against bus rapid transit. Younger respondents are more likely to support an LRT while older respondents are more likely to support BRTs. Of course, younger Edmontonians are more likely to use public transit so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Older respondents likely know or realize LRTs cost more money and perhaps are thinking about what that might mean in a property tax increase.”

“Lastly we asked about redevelopment plans in Rossdale. Edmontonians want to see a public-private partnership fund the project but aren’t sold on what the redevelopment should be. There are significant splits on age and many (23%) want something different than a Granville style shopping area (24%) or swimming pool (15%),” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Edmonton Election 2017 B by Mainstreet on Scribd

Calgary360

Smith Leads Nenshi as Campaign Heads to Finish

October 13, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll produced for the Calgary Herald & Calgary Sun finds Bill Smith well positioned to be Calgary’s next mayor with a 13-point lead over Naheed Nenshi in decided & leaning voters. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.53 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“What was once thought to be a sleepy election for Naheed Nenshi has turned into a nightmare.” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “This is one of the most vicious and negative campaigns I have ever witnessed. Front-runner Bill Smith and incumbent Nenshi campaigns have both been plagued by self inflicted wounds in the closing weeks.”

“Most recently we have seen a series of stories hitting Bill Smith including coverage of e-mails, warrants and legal disputes.”

“Nenshi was not immune to missteps in the closing weeks of the campaign either. The final count will see a return of the 2010 Nenshi campaign that tallied 39% of the vote. Unlike 2010 however, this time there is no vote split for Nenshi to exploit. Despite his time on council, Andre Chabot was not able to galvanize support much higher than single digits throughout this campaign, and the change vote has gone overwhelmingly to Bill Smith. Our expectation is that Smith will be elected Mayor of Calgary on Monday.”

“We asked Nenshi and Smith voters why they were supporting their candidate. 22% of Nenshi voters said they are supporting him because of the way he represents Calgary at the provincial, national and international level, while 18% indicated he is the best option among the candidates available. 15% said the city’s financial performance under Nenshi’s leadership was the reason they voted for him.”

“27% 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% said his values reflect their values.”

“Only 9% of Nenshi voters indicated the arena was the top reason for their vote while only 5% of Smith voters said the same.”

“Finally, we asked Calgarians if they approved or disapproved of the performance by the candidates in the campaign. 40% said they approved of Nenshi’s performance while 48% said they disapproved.”

“When it came to Smith, 53% approved of his performance and 29% disapproved of it,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Calgary Election 2017 Final by Mainstreet on Scribd

Alberta-Flag-360

Iveson Cruising to Win

October 13, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia produced for the Edmonton Journal & Edmonton Sun finds Don Iveson will be easily re-elected. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.62 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“Don Iveson will be easily re-elected Mayor of Edmonton on October 16th. His popularity has been consistently strong with increasing approvals that Mainstreet has tracked since his election in 2013,” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “While Don Iveson faces little opposition, Naheed Nenshi is fighting for his life down in Calgary.”

“Of all the contenders on the ballot it looks like Don Koziak might do best though given the margin of error and the low levels of support for non-Iveson candidates it’s not easy to predict who will come in second.”

“While Edmontonians are in agreement on the mayoral race they are split down the middle when it comes to photo radar. 40% approve of a plan to a plan to cancel photo radar while 38% disapprove. Women are less likely than men to want to pull the plug on photo radar.”

“We also asked Edmontonians about bike lanes and found strong opposition with over half (55%) opposed. It’s worth remembering that the cost of bike lanes is generally low, particularly when compared to the infrastructure costs associated with cars. Despite their low cost, bike lanes have become a hot button issue in major cities,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Edmonton Election 2017 A by Mainstreet on Scribd

Alberta-Flag-360

Calgary’s Next Mayor is…

October 7, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll produced for the Calgary Herald & Calgary Sun finds Bill Smith leading in the race to become Calgary’s next mayor. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.53 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“Naheed Nenshi’s path to victory on October 16th is growing thinner,” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “With time running short, the former World’s Greatest Mayor faces a growing deficit that will be hard to overcome. He now trails newcomer and main opponent, Bill Smith by 17 percentage points, that lead has increased from last week by 8.”

 

“These numbers point to the near certain election of Bill Smith on October 16th and the growing divide may signal a seismic shift in Calgary civic politics. What the effect may be on down ballot candidates is impossible to say from this data, but it’s likely Nenshi will not be the only incumbent to be the victim of this change election. One thing is clear, the vote split with Andre Chabot that some have raised as a possible path to victory for Nenshi is no longer a factor. Chabot is a distant third at just 6% and this two-horse race continues to solidify, with Smith extending a healthy lead.”

“As the certainty of a Bill Smith election becomes clearer, the risks increase again on the frontrunner and any late mistakes could reverse the gains of the past week. But while Calgarians begin to vote in advance polls, the Smith campaign continues to peak.”

“It’s important to remember that candidates can out perform their polling numbers. Strong Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) campaigns can make a difference – but there’s only so much those campaigns can accomplish. In tight races they can make a difference but this is looking less competitive by the week,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Calgary Election 2017 by Mainstreet on Scribd

Calgary360

Calgary Split on Secondary Suites

October 6, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll produced for the Calgary Herald & Calgary Sun finds Calgarians are split down the middle when it comes to secondary suites. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“It wouldn’t be a Calgary election without a poll question on secondary suites” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “The issue is addressed time and time again and takes up a lot of time at Calgary City Hall and the latest numbers show the issue is more divisive than ever.”

“We asked Calgarians if they would support new zoning rules that would allow secondary suites and basements suites throughout the entire city. 43% said yes while 42% said no, a statistical dead heat.”

“Nenshi voters are the ones most likely to support secondary suites and basement suites with 63% of them in favour of new zoning rules that would allow them in all neighbourhoods. Smith voters on the other hand were the most opposed with 62% being against it.”

“Interestingly Chabot voters were more likely to be in favour of new zoning rules than opposed (45% in favour, 36% opposed) but Undecided voters leaned more towards opposition than support (37% against, 31% in favour, 32% undecided).”

“Younger Calgarians, 18-34, were the most likely to support the initiative (55%), while those 35-49 were the most likely to be against (46%). Only among those 18-34 was there more support for the initiative than opposition. We also saw a significant gender gap with men 51% in favour of the zoning changes and women 48% opposed,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Calgary September 2017 D by Mainstreet on Scribd

Alberta-Flag-360

Edmontonians Split on Northland’s Future

October 6, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll produced for the Edmonton Journal & Edmonton Sun finds Edmontonians are split when it comes to what to do with the Northlands Arena Site. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.62 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“Edmontonians aren’t sure what to do with the Northlands Arena site though many ideas are popular” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “28% of Edmontonians told us they wanted to see the site repurposed to a multiplex rink while an equal 28% told us they wanted to see a multi-use sports facility.”

“The city is split when it comes to council’s decision to close the old arena, 41% said they disapproved while 37% approved.”

“Its clear, however, that Edmontonians want to see K Days continue with 66% saying the Northlands Organization should make that part of it’s mandate moving forward. Just 6% said they wanted the organization to continue with an agricultural focus but no K Days. Only 9% said the organization should shut down altogether.”

“There’s a strong desire for something to be done with Northlands park. Only 17% say it should be left as is. Ideas for the park have varying levels of support. Most popular is to transform it to festival grounds (24%) while 20% say the park should be entirely redeveloped. Only 13% said it should be used for housing and business while 26% of respondents are undecided.”

“Edmontonians are also split on what to make of a proposal from the Oilers Entertainment Group on the Coliseum site. 30% believe the city should partner with the Oilers, 27% said the City should partner with the Oilers but also with other pro-teams in the city, while 26% rejected the proposal altogether,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Edmonton September 2017 by Mainstreet on Scribd

Calgary360

Calgarians on Bike Lanes, Policing & Business Taxes

October 4, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll produced for the Calgary Herald & Calgary Sun finds Calgarians oppose expanding the city’s bike network to the suburbs – and are split on a property tax increase to pay for additional policing. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“Respondents were split when it came to raising property taxes to pay for additional policing.” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “43% said they would be opposed to the plan with 39% in favour, another sign that property taxes are the top issue this election campaign and that they are a higher priority than crime and safety.”

“The numbers were not close however when it came to questions about bike lanes. 57% oppose the new bike lanes that have been added downtown and 55% oppose expanding the bike network to the suburbs. Despite their low cost, bike lanes appear to have a become a grievance for a number of Calgarians.”

“Not surprisingly when we look at how the mayoral vote stacks up on the issue there is a clear divide. Supporters of Naheed Nenshi support the bike lanes (53%, 55%) but supporters of Bill Smith and Andre Chabot are strongly opposed (80%, 74% for Smith; 84%, 84% for Chabot).”

“There is also a split when we look at the policing question with Nenshi supporters more willing to raise property taxes to pay for additional police (48%) than Smith supporters (34%) or Chabot supporters (27%).”

“Undecided voters support a property tax increase for more police by 7 percentage points but at the same time oppose the downtown bike lanes (41%) and their expansion (46%).”

“Calgary voters support more assistance for businesses, something the mayoral candidates promised to address at the Chamber of Commerce debate. Once again there is a split, Nenshi supporters are opposed to assistance to business (28% support; 41% oppose) but all other voter groups are in favour,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Calgary September 2017 C by Mainstreet on Scribd

Calgary360

Arena Debate a Hot Topic – But Not Calgary’s Most Important Issue

October 3, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll produced for the Calgary Herald & Calgary Sun finds 47% of Calgarians think the city should stand firm on its commitment to get a good arena deal for taxpayers – even if it means the Calgary Flames leave Calgary. But at the same time Calgarians do not think the arena debate is the most important issue. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“Right now, these are hypothetical numbers.” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “There is no other city telling the Flames to move and while there is speculation as to where the Flames could go it is not something considered imminent – if it was, perhaps public opinion on the matter would change.”

“The numbers are clear however that the Flames face an uphill battle in securing funding for a new arena from the public – at least, on their terms.”

“39% of Calgarians said the most recent deal presented by the city was a fair deal while 35% said it was unfair. Undecided voters were the most likely to say the deal was fair (48%) followed by voters supporting Naheed Nenshi (44%). Meanwhile supporters for Andre Chabot and Bill Smith were more likely to say the deal was unfair; 43% of Smith supporters said it was unfair as did 49% of Chabot’s supporters.”

“When we asked about whether the city should hold firm on getting a good deal for taxpayers – even if it meant the flames leaving, supporters for Naheed Nenshi were most likely to say the city should hold firm (59%) while supporters for Smith were against securing the best deal if it mean the loss of the Flames (51%). Undecided voters were much more split on this question than the last, 41% to 36% (41% in favour of the city securing the best deal).”

“Nenshi’s supporters like what he is doing on this issue – but even some of his own voters disagree. And the same is true of the other mayoral candidates. It’s helpful to Mr. Nenshi that undecided voters believe the deal that’s on the table is one that’s fair but at the same time undecided voters are split on whether the city should allow the flames to leave.”

“All that being said, Calgarians care much more about property taxes than they do about the arena debate. 38% of Calgarians said property taxes was the most important issue to them, only 8% said the same about the arena.”

“Mainstreet’s analysis shows the arena debate is on bottom half of the list with the top three issues being Property Taxes, Crime & Safety and Traffic & Congestion,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Calgary September 2017 B by Mainstreet on Scribd

Calgary360

Nenshi Faces Defeat

September 30, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll produced for the Calgary Herald & Calgary Sun finds Naheed Nenshi trailing in the race for mayor by 9 percentage points. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“With a little over two weeks to election day, voters in Calgary appear set for a change election.” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “Naheed Nenshi, who is seeking re-election for the second time trails newcomer Bill Smith by 9 points. Although there is time for Nenshi to turn things around, these numbers should be very concerning and point to a difficult uphill battle for Team Nenshi. The undecided vote is low at 14% with councillor Andre Chabot at 7% and all other candidates combined at just 4% – there is not a lot of room for growth.”

“When it comes to favourability, Bill Smith leads with a net favourability of +11, although just 36% have a favourable view of Smith, only 25% have an unfavourable view. Nenshi trails with a net favourability of -11, and Andre Chabot comes in just below Nenshi with a net -12.”

“The contrast between the candidates is very pronounced in those who are not sure or not familiar. Less than 1% of respondents are unfamiliar with Nenshi compared to 11% for Smith and 18% for Chabot. Just 16% of people are not sure about Nenshi compared to 28% for Smith and 31% for Chabot.

”The favourability numbers reveal some weakness for Smith and as we enter the next stage of the campaign, Smith can expect more scrutiny and media attention and that may drive some of those not familiar and not sure voters in different directions. If Nenshi can raise Smith’s negatives he may be able to grow his support.”

“At this point, turnout will be a major factor in the outcome of this race. Nenshi needs to close the gap with Smith substantially and increase his supporter turnout at the same time to make up this significant deficit. We cannot discount the fact that Nenshi’s team have been recognized as campaign experts who can mobilize supporters. The only opinions that will matter on election day are of the people who take the time to vote, if Nenshi is not able to make up the numbers through superior mobilization or persuasion on election night he will be defeated,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Calgary September 2017 A by Mainstreet on Scribd