Calgary Mayoral Race Too Close to Call

Higgins (37%) and McIver (34%) In A Statistical Tie; Nenshi (21%) the Only Other Contender

Calgary, AB - With only a week left until Election Day, both front-running candidates are in a dead heat for first place among decided voters. A new Ipsos Reid / Global News Calgary/QR77 telephone poll finds that there is a statistical tie between frontrunners Barb Higgins (37%) and Ric McIver (34%) among decided voters. Naheed Nenshi is the only other contender in the race 21%. No other Mayoral Candidate has more than 3% of decided Calgary voters. It should be noted that these results exclude the 19% of Calgary voters who are undecided or express no preference.
  • Barb Higgins' has a substantial lead among Calgarians with high school or less education (48% support Higgins vs. 29% McIver and 18% Nenshi) and also among lower income households (51% support Higgins vs. 29% McIver and 17%).
  • Ric McIver has a substantial lead among Calgarians living in the Southeast quadrant (48% support for McIver vs. 27% for Higgins and 23% for Nenshi), while Higgins has stronger support among those living in the Northeast quadrant (47% support for Higgins vs. 26% support for McIver and 20% for Nenshi) and the Southwest quadrant (43% support Higgins vs. 33% McIver and 19% for Nenshi).

The gap between Higgins (36%) and McIver (32%) widens to four-points among those who are "absolutely certain" to vote on Election Day, while Nenshi (25%) closes the gap to both frontrunners.

There is still some opportunity for switching with a third of decided voters (33%) describing their vote as just a leaning vote at this time. McIver has the most solid support with 30% of his voters saying they are just leaning toward him, compared to 36% of Higgins supporters and 38% of Nenshi voters.

Echoing reports of strong advanced voting numbers, the poll also shows that Calgary may see its highest voter turnout in years, with 58% of Calgarians indicating they are "absolutely certain to vote" next Monday. These results indicate that turnout will be much higher than the 33% recorded in the 2007 election.

Ipsos Reid Associate Vice President, Jamie Duncan comments "Calgary hasn't witnessed voter turnout numbers higher than 48% in the last 30 years. We're seeing a keen interest in this year's election driven in part by a vacant mayor's seat and the mood for change, but also because there are now three strong, viable candidates who are bringing some excitement to the race."

  • >Looking at demographics, younger Calgarians (18-34 years) less likely to say they're absolutely certain to vote (40%) compared to older Calgarians (68% for those 35+ years).

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid telephone poll conducted between October 5 and 6, 2010. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 500 Calgarians aged 18 or older. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within 177 4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Calgary been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Calgary population aged 18 or older according to 2006 Census data.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Jamie Duncan
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(403) 969-3235
[email protected]

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