Winnipeg mayoral candidate Glen Murray has lost support over the past few weeks but remains the leading choice among decided voters, according to a Leger poll commissioned by rival candidate Scott Gillingham.
An online Leger poll of 496 Winnipeg adults conducted between Oct. 6 and 11 suggests Murray had the support of 28 per cent of decided Winnipeg voters.
That’s a drop of 12 percentage points from a September Probe Research poll that suggested Murray enjoyed the support of 40 per cent of the decided electorate.
“This is October now and people are starting to sort of pay more attention to the campaign,” said Andrew Enns, Leger’s vice-president responsible for central Canada.
Candidates save their strongest material for the final weeks of the six-month campaign, he said.
“These municipal campaigns are brutal. They start in May and you kind of make up things until things get more real, and I think they are now starting to get real.”
Murray, who served as Winnipeg’s mayor from 1998 to 2004, said he is pleased to see he is consistently leading in every 2022 poll and that his campaign is resonating with voters.
“But no poll will ever have us take for granted the importance of every Winnipegger’s voice and support. We will continue to run like we’re one vote behind,” Murray said in a statement.
The Leger poll also suggested Murray’s loss of support has not translated into a significant groundswell of support for any other candidate, including the one who commissioned the poll.
The new poll suggested two-term St. James councillor Gillingham is running in second place, with 19 per cent of decided-voter support. That’s up from 15 per cent in the September Probe Research poll, but that four-percentage-point rise remains within the Leger’s poll’s equivalent margin of error.
Gillingham nonetheless claimed he has momentum in this race.
“Voters are taking a critical look at Glen Murray, and this is going to be a close race,” he said in a statement.
The Leger poll suggested Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood Coun. Kevin Klein has pulled into third place, with 14 per cent support. That’s up four percentage points from the September Probe Research poll.
“Polls are like opinions. Everyone has them,” Klein said in a telephone interview. “What we’re hearing is I’m leading and the polls are not reaching the suburbs effectively.”
The Leger survey pegged Shaun Loney in fourth place, with 13 per cent support. That’s down one percentage point from the September Probe poll.
Loney spokesperson Tom Code said he won’t comment on the accuracy of the Leger poll but said the Loney campaign is feeling a groundswell of support.
“There’s something going on here that tells us that more and more people see Shaun is the only one for them. It’s going to be quite the last 12 days,” Code said in a statement.
The Leger survey found Jenny Motkaluk in fifth place with eight per cent support, followed by Robert-Falcon Ouellette with seven per cent, Rick Shone and Rana Bokhari with four per cent each and Don Woodstock with one per cent.
The survey suggested Chris Clacio and Idris Adelakun had a combined total of one per cent support.
This Leger survey was conducted online via the company’s LEO panel between Oct. 6 and 11 among a sample of 496 Winnipeg residents aged 18 and older.
As a non-probability online survey, a margin of error can not be calculated, however for comparison purposes only, a probabilistic sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20, Leger said.
Using data from the 2021 Census, results were weighted according to age and gender, with minor adjustment for voter participation tendencies based on data from past federal elections, Leger said.
Advance voting in the Winnipeg mayoral race is open until Oct. 21. Election day is Oct. 26.
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