Adriane Carr has edge in Vancouver mayoral race, early poll shows

Vancouver Coun. Adriane Carr. Jaime Kowal Photography

An early poll gives Vancouver’s sole Green city councillor the edge in the race for mayor.

The new survey from Research Co. found that 26 per cent of of respondents tapped Green Coun. Adriane Carr as a “good choice” for the city’s top job.

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In second place with 16 per cent was social activist Jean Swanson, who ran unsuccessfully for council in last year’s byelection.

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Independent candidate Shauna Sylvester, director of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, came in third with the support of eight per cent of respondents.

Research Co. president Mario Canseco said Carr is pulling support from across the political spectrum.

“She’s seen as a good choice by those who voted for Vision Vancouver in the last election and for the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) in the last election. So there’s definitely a scenario here where the Greens are seen as a very good choice by the voters,” he said.

“I think this will definitely make the Greens think twice about whether they want to run her as a candidate for mayor.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Carr has succeeded at attracting support across party lines. In the 2014 election, she earned more votes than any other councillor on the ballot.

Carr has not committed to running for mayor. Last week she told Global News she is “ready and willing” to run, but is waiting for the party to assess her potential support before deciding.

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The poll, which asked voters to rate 11 possible candidates, also suggests that other would-be mayors have some work to do to introduce themselves to voters.

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Nearly half of respondents (47 per cent) didn’t know who rookie NPA councillor Hector Bremner was, while 54 per cent couldn’t identify NPA Park Board Commissioner John Coupar and 50 per cent didn’t know financial analyst Glen Chernen, who is also seeking the NPA nomination.

Of the would-be NPA candidates, Bremner — who won his council seat in Vancouver’s 2017 byelection — scored the best with six per cent support in a shot for mayor.

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“It’s a very complex matter because indeed, he won that election but it was a byelection with a very low voter turnout,” Canseco said.

“When you have a situation like that even though you win you’re not going to get the same amount of coverage and headlines that you would win as someone who was a councillor for a longer time.”

Former Conservative Party MP Wai Young who is also running, got the nod from three per cent.

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The poll also provides a snapshot of voters’ feelings towards the major civic parties.

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Nearly half of respondents (48 per cent) had a positive opinion of the Vancouver Green Party, while 22 per cent gave them thumbs down.

Vision Vancouver, which currently holds power, is seen negatively by 43 per cent, while just 26 per cent saw the party in a good light. A third of respondents had negative feelings about the NPA, compared to 23 per cent who gave them the thumbs up.

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Voters were split on the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), which was shut out in the 2014 election, with 27 per cent having each a positive and negative view.  OneCity, which captured a school board seat in the 2017 Vancouver byelection, was thought of positively by 14 per cent of respondents.

However, Canseco stressed that the Oct. 20 election is still more than six months away, and that the 2018 campaign won’t be like any in recent memory.

“One of the difficulties that all of the candidates will be facing is this will be a very different campaign from ones in the past,” he said.

“The fact that you no longer have big union or corporate donations is going to make this seem like more of the grassroots campaigns that we were used to in the 1970s and 1980s before we started to have really well established [municipal] political parties.”
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The online poll was conducted from a sample of 400 adults in Vancouver between April 9 and 10, and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 per cent.

  • With files from Ria Renouf and Kyle Benning

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