Sunday, September 19, 2010

Right Turn

Polls out today show fiscal conservatives ahead in Calgary and Toronto.

Calgary (Leger, n=500 phone)

Ric McIver 43% (profile)
Barb Higgins 28%
Naheed Nenshi 8% (profile)
Kent Hehr 4.1% (profile)
Bob Hawkesworth 3.9%
Craig Burrows 3.6%
Joe Connely 2.9%
Wayne Stewart 1.8%
Alnoor Kassam 1.4%
Oscar Fech 1.2%
Bonnie Devine 0.8%
Paul Hughes 0.8%
John Lord 0.4%

Kassam and Hughes are actually out of the race. Likely a wise move, because if you're tied with Oscar Fech, it's time to go (Oscar's platform usually involves digging up gold buried under City Hall).

The results from this poll are hardly earth shattering. McIver has been the front runner for the past 5 years and Higgins is still finding her feet in this race. However, the news isn't all bad for her - 15 points can be made up in month municipally, and she is clearly positioned as the "anybody but McIver" candidate. Nenshi is still far back, but can at least spin this as a sign he's pulling away from the pack. For the rest of the field, there's little joy in mudville.

Toronto (Nanos, n = 1221 phone)

Ford 45.8%
Smitherman 21.3%
Pantalone 16.8%
Rossi 9.7%
Thompson 6.4%

This poll will come as more of a shock for anyone living outside of Toronto. Yes, those "Liberal elites" John Baird rails against are lining up behind a man who could become Canada's first Tea Party mayor.

For those in Toronto, it's not as big a shock. Ford has become the torch bearer for every suburban voter fed up with waste at City Hall and has forged a Ralph Klein common man connection to voters, to the point where voters will forgive his many deficiencies.

Luckily, as is the case in Calgary, there's still a lot of baseball to be played and many voters are just now tuning in this episode already in progress. Right now, the "Stop Ford" vote is being split - by Election Day it will congeal, presumably around Smitherman.

Still, the early returns are strikingly similar in both Calgary in Toronto - in both cities, voters have clicked their right turn signal, looking to the candidate who talks the loudest about cleaning up waste at City Hall.

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  • What I'm hoping voters realize is that Rob Ford isn't a fiscal conservative at all--he's a Harper conservative. Throw away billions on pointless things while claiming to be a fiscal manager. (Also, he's anti-immigrant, anti-gay, racist, this really who voters want in charge of Canada's biggest city?)

    Fortunately for Ford, he faces the same level of opposition Harper does. Smitherman, Rossi, Pantalone...just a bumper crop of nothing this year. At this point, David Miller could run (well, it's too late for him to announce, but) and get 70% of the vote.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38 a.m.  

  • The most important question, obviously, is who will Oscar endorse? And where does he get those suits? Seriously, he must own a lot of rental property or something, I could not afford all those suits. HOW!? Is he for real? Does he have a doctor?

    (For those who don't know, Oscar is Calgary's very own gadfly! And for the record, I would NOT vote for him to drink the hemlock!)

    By Blogger James McKenzie, at 2:11 a.m.  

  • An interesting part of the surveys is that the Calgary race seems to be homeowners (voting for McIver) vs non-homeowners (voting for Higgins).

    Probably based on the perception that McIver will stop the dramatic increases in spending (and therefore property taxes) while Higgins will offer more services.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 9:58 a.m.  

  • Rob Ford is doing well because he is able to get his message out. I just went to his website and watched an 8 minute video on his transit plan and as someone who isn't from Toronto, or a big city, it made perfect sense to me and seemed reasonable. I went to the 4 other main candidates websites to see if I could watch a video on there transit platforms and I couldn't find any. Rob Ford spoke horribly in his video yet without to much effort I easily understand his plan.

    People are planning on voting for Ford because they know the platform he is running on. People who are very knowledgable about Toronto and city hall probably know that his plans don't add up but ordinary voters arn't looking that far ahead.

    By Blogger Jordan, at 12:29 p.m.  

  • Don't count out Oscar Fech. After all, he got second place in 2004. :)

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 7:03 p.m.  

  • Terrible news for non-Conservatives, that Conservatives are leading the mayoral races in 2/2 = 100% of all the cities in Canada.

    By Anonymous chods, at 10:49 p.m.  

  • Bob Hawkesworth had 20,000 Calgary households participate in a phone-in Town Hall last week. I think he's taken some heat over the robo-calls, but at least people can participate in the process.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:16 a.m.  

  • Rob Ford's lead is largely driven by name recognition, just like Barbara Hall's was (even in late October 2003, polls showed a Hall-Miller race).

    The primary challenge in defeating him is that it will require cooperation between Toronto's two de facto parties. Toronto's establishment right is mostly pro-development Liberals or old PC types, while the establishment left comprises of anti-development Liberals and Dippers. Its the Globe vs. the Star. You have to go back to 1978 for the last time there was a real three-way result.

    Rob Ford does not appear to be backed by either of Toronto's municipal factions. This holds open the possibility that the Globe party will coalesce behind Smitherman, while the Star party stays in behind Pantalone. Doing so will guarantee defeat.

    PS: whatever you think of Rob Ford's fiscal conservatism, his term as mayor will likely be characterized by gridlock in council.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 12:31 a.m.  

  • Seems every Liberal running this time out is trying to pretend they're Conservatives, or at the very least that they've never been members of any political party.

    When are the media going to do due diligence on these folks?

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