With three months to go before Vancouverites head to the polls in a civic election, the Non-Partisan Association’s (NPA) Ken Sim has a slim edge, according to a new poll.
The survey from Research Co. put Sim at 26 per cent, followed closely by independent and former Burnaby NDP MP Kennedy Stewart at 25 per cent.
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Vision Vancouver’s Ian Campbell trails at 20 per cent, while independent Shauna Sylvester earned the support of 11 per cent.
The race is rounded out by former Conservative MP and Coalition Vancouver candidate Wai Young at eight per cent, NPA Coun. and Yes Vancouver candidate Hector Bremner at five per cent and David Chen of ProVancouver at four per cent.
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The poll also found the pool of undecided voters starting to shrink. Research Co.’s last survey pegged 47 per cent of respondents as undecided, while Thursday’s poll put the number at 35 per cent.
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However, Research Co. president Mario Canseco said voters still say they need to know more.
“There’s almost two thirds who say they don’t have enough information about the candidates,” he said.
Among the two front runners, clear divisions of support have emerged, according to the poll.
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Sim holds a lead among men (32 per cent), West Side residents (31 per cent) and people older than 55 (36 per cent).
Stewart, by contrast, leads among women (30 per cent), East Vancouver (29 per cent) and downtown (32 per cent) residents and people aged 35 to 54 (31 per cent).
On issues, the poll found housing continues to resonate, Canseco said.
“The number-one issue is housing affordability, and it’s definitely going to be the one thing the voters are going to talk to about and question the candidates [about] as we get closer to the election,” he said.
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According to the poll, 82 per cent of respondents said affordability is worse in Vancouver than other Metro Vancouver cities. More than half (57 per cent) also said developers have an outsized influence in the city compared to neighbouring municipalities.
Two-in-five respondents said quality of life is better in Vancouver, while three-in-10 said public safety was better.
The poll also asked Vancouverites what they thought of the idea of amalgamating Metro Vancouver into one municipality, as was done in Toronto in 1998.
About three-in-10 (31 per cent) said they liked the idea, while just under half (48 per cent) disagreed with it.
Vancouver’s municipal election is scheduled for October 20.
The poll was conducted online between July 13 and 16, among 400 adult Vancouver residents. It is considered accurate within +/- 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.