According to the report, Murray leads with 44 per cent support in his bid to become mayor again for the first time in almost two decades.
Murray is head and shoulders above the rest of the field when it comes to support in the city’s core area, and is rated highly among women and older voters as well, with his experience and track record cited by 65 per cent of respondents as a reason to back him.
The survey of more than 600 Winnipeg adults shows current St. James councillor Scott Gillingham sitting at 16 per cent in his bid for the mayoralty, and former member of Parliament Robert-Falcon Ouellette at 13 per cent — although Probe’s report says they each have potential support of more than 50 per cent.
Gillingham is the top candidate for respondents who vote Progressive Conservative provincially, while Ouellette appeals to NDP and Liberal voters — their second choice behind Murray.
Other candidates, including Jenny Motkaluk, Shaun Loney and Rana Bokhari, are all polling in single digits, significantly behind the top three.
Motkaluk’s momentum ranking — calculated by subtracting those who say their opinion of the candidate has worsened from those who say their opinion has improved — is the lowest among all candidates, at -11. According to the report, a controversial social media post she made on Canada Day has soured many potential voters on her campaign.
The rest of the field had even less overall support, the study said, with more than 60 per cent of respondents saying they were unaware of Rick Shone, Idris Ademuyiwa Adelakun, Desmond Thomas, Jessica Peebles and Chris Clacio. Half of all respondents said they were unfamiliar with Don Woodstock.
Aside from the declared candidates, should Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo) decide to run for mayor, the survey says one in three Winnipeggers would consider giving him their vote, with one in four considering former Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) if he threw his name into the hat.
Current mayor Brian Bowman announced in October 2020 that he wouldn’t be seeking a third term in office when voters go to the polls Oct 26.