Sohi front-runner in Edmonton mayoral race, according to Leger poll

Click to play video: 'Poll gives insight into 2021 Edmonton mayoral race'
Poll gives insight into 2021 Edmonton mayoral race
Edmonton will have a new mayor after Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. A new poll shows former federal cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi out in front but, as Sarah Ryan explains, even the pollsters say a lot can change come Monday. – Oct 14, 2021

Marketing research company Leger was hired by Postmedia to survey 500 Edmontonians in an online poll over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Leger asked voters about a number of things: the mayoral race, key issues and the additional referendum questions.

When it comes to who will take over for Don Iveson, more than a third of respondents said they intend to support former federal cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi.

“Amarjeet Sohi is leading by a substantial margin over his next competitor, Mike Nickel,” said Ian Large, Leger’s executive vice-president.

Sohi is polling at 34 per cent, with Nickel at 16 per cent, and Kim Krushell at 12 per cent.

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Large noted Sohi is leading primarily with younger voters, but actually maintains an edge over Nickel in all age categories surveyed.

“We know in Edmonton, the voters tend to have a more progressive agenda than elsewhere in the province, in particular the south.

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“Amarjeet Sohi represents that progressive wing of the political spectrum,” Large said.

When asked about the poll’s findings, Sohi said: “polls are a snapshot of time when they’re conducted. But what matters to me is that we’re working hard to earn every vote.”

Leger also conducted a similar poll in July, polling 450 Edmontonians. Since then, people’s answers changed dramatically – specifically undecided voters.

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“The movement to a decision has favoured Sohi, to a significant degree,” Large said.

But former councillor Krushell is gaining momentum too.

“She’s been very active on the campaign. We certainly see her name around a lot, she also has a great deal of name recognition,” Large explained.

“We have seen other numbers that show us a lot closer. But I will tell you this, the only poll that matters is on election day.”

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Land deal accusations enter Edmonton mayoral race

Nickel said he feels the poll isn’t reflective of what’s happening on the ground. He also takes issues with the poll’s methodology.

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“It’s nothing more than numbers on a page. It’s not statistically valid, it’s not a random sample, so it’s kind of funny. It has no validity whatsoever.”

As for Sohi, he isn’t taking anything for granted. When asked about the potential for vote splitting, Sohi said he sees it as a two-way race, between himself and Nickel.

“For me, every vote matters. We have worked hard since we launched the campaign and we’re going to continue to work hard until the polls are closed,” Sohi explained.

Large said that’s wise, because relaxing or stumbling now could really impact the outcome, especially if voter turnout is low.

READ MORE: ‘Significant increase’ in advance voting for 2021 Edmonton election over 2017

“Momentum is everything in these municipal elections. And there is always the possibility of a spoiler come Monday,” Large said.

“He can’t rest on his laurels. I don’t think any candidate can, they have to work right till the very end.”

Leger also asked voters about the key election issues, and found economic recovery post-COVID to be front of mind, with social concerns taking a back seat – at least for the time being.

“Lowering taxes, support for economic businesses and growth, reducing spending, fiscal restraint and promoting economic diversification. Those are the top five issues in Edmonton and Calgary,” Large explained.

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He said one other thing to consider, is that a large number of voters have already cast a ballot, with 63,500 people, about 10 percent of all eligible voters, coming out to advance polls.

This Leger poll was conducted in Alberta between Oct. 8-11, 2021. A total of 1,005 Albertans over the age of 18 were surveyed online. Leger stats the margin of error is =/- 3 percent, 19 times out of 20.

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