If Mainstreet’s prediction comes true, Bill Smith will have a new job in the very near future.
“Bill Smith has somehow managed to coalesce the rest of the ‘not-Nenshi’ vote around his campaign,” said Quito Maggi, the president and CEO of Mainstreet Research, a polling firm which has conducted a number of surveys leading up to Monday’s municipal election.
“Barring some sort of miracle, he’ll be the mayor on Oct. 16.”
In a poll conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, 52 per cent of respondents said they had either decided on or were leaning towards voting for Smith in the mayoral race. Thirty-nine per cent said they were intending to put their support behind incumbent Naheed Nenshi.
“We’ll remind you that 39 per cent is the exact number that [Nenshi] got in 2010.”
FULL COVERAGE: Calgary election 2017
Those who identified as Smith or Nenshi voters were also asked to provide perspective on the reason why they were supporting their candidate. Topping the list of reasons, 27 per cent of Smith voters said the former Alberta PC president’s promise to hold the line on taxes was the driver behind their support. Meanwhile, 22 per cent of Nenshi voters said the incumbent’s ability to represent the city on a provincial, national and international level was the key factor behind their support.
WATCH: President of Mainstreet Research Quito Maggi joins Global Calgary live from Ottawa to discuss the results of a poll that suggests Bill Smith has a 13-point lead over Naheed Nenshi.
Maggi said other recent polling across the country has demonstrated economic anxiety can be a driver in the electorate looking for a change.
“Whenever we see optimism dropping about the economy and pessimism increasing, we know that can spell trouble for incumbent governments,” Maggi said.
“The environment and the landscape was right and ripe for someone to take advantage, and Bill Smith happened to be that person.”
LISTEN: Quito Maggi on the most recent Mainstreet Research poll leading into the Calgary election
Finally, the poll asked respondents whether they approve or disapprove of how the two front-runners were conducting their campaigns. Fifty-three per cent of those surveyed either somewhat or strongly approved of Smith’s run for mayor, while 48 per cent somewhat or strongly disapproved of Nenshi’s bid.
Maggi said he believes the polling shows a growing disconnect between the Nenshi and the people of Calgary.
Mainstreet surveyed 1,500 Calgarians by telephone on October 10 and 11. The margin of error for survey results is +/- 2.53 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
BELOW: See the complete Mainstreet/Postmedia poll