Frontrunners Emerge In First 2021 Mayoral Poll
Today, we are releasing the first Mayoral poll for the upcoming 2021 municipal election.
In an effort to understand the early landscape of Calgary's upcoming Mayoral race, we commissioned an independent poll of 1,284 Calgarians, asking questions about both publicly declared and rumoured candidates for the upcoming election, as well the public's opinion of current Mayor Naheed Nenshi's performance.
For job performance, Mayor Nenshi has a net +4.5% satisfaction rating (Very Good: 24.4%, Good: 27.9%, Poor: 26.8%, Very Poor: 21.0%), reduced from previous years but, still net positive after more than ten years in the role.
For the 2021 Mayoralty race questions, participants were asked for their candidate preference across a number of different scenarios featuring different combinations of potential candidates, including publicly declared candidates Jeromy Farkas, Jyoti Gondek, Brad Field, and Zane Novak, as well as two rumoured candidates, Ward 6 Councillor Jeff Davison and incumbent Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
Mayor Nenshi had previously promised to disclose his intentions by the end of 2020 but has indicated more recently he is still undecided, while rumours persist that Councillor Davison is still considering a run for the Mayoralty, despite recently announcing his intention to run for re-election in Ward 6.
In each scenario, participants were asked the same question:
"The next municipal election here in Calgary will be on October 18, 2021. Based on the following potential candidates, who would you vote for or be leaning towards voting for, for Mayor of Calgary?"
- When all declared and rumoured candidates are included, the results indicate a statistical tie between Mayor Nenshi (40.5%) and Councillor Farkas (38.9%), with no other candidate breaking 10%.
- In a scenario with the Mayor excluded from the list of declared and rumoured candidates, Councillor Gondek (19.8%) picks up the largest share of Mayor Nenshi's voters, making her the closest challenger to a dominant Councillor Farkas (54.5%).
- In a straight head-to-head between the two declared frontrunners, Councillor Farkas' lead becomes even more commanding (60.6%) over Councillor Gondek (23.6%).
- Three final scenarios, pitting both Farkas and Gondek against one each of Davison, Novak, and Field, confirm that these three other candidates do not factor in the race, at least at this stage.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the poll results make clear that by far the biggest factor impacting the race is whether Mayor Nenshi decides to run for re-election or not.
With Mayor Nenshi in the race, Calgarians can expect a tight two-way race between Mayor Nenshi and Councillor Farkas, while with Mayor Nenshi out of the race, Councillor Farkas becomes the clear favourite, with Councillor Gondek emerging as the only viable alternative.
Our 2017 ward-by-ward poll correctly picked the winning candidate in 14 out of 14 wards, as well as the correct second-place candidate in 12 out of 14 wards, and we are aiming to conduct similar polling for the 2021 election later this year.
We think 2021 presents an exciting opportunity for us to all work together to bring some much-needed change to City Hall.
If you'd like to help us conduct more polls like this as we get closer to the election, or support our other research and advocacy, please consider making a donation.
We aim to bring Common Sense to City Hall and, if you've been watching what's happening in our municipal government lately, you'll know that we have a huge job ahead of us!
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Full Poll Results
This polling research was conducted by an independent third-party polling company between January 17, 2021 and January 19, 2021, via Interactive Voice Response (IVR), using a random sample of 1,284 Calgarians. Results were weighted by Calgary demographics, providing an overall Margin of Error of 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.