Karen Leibovici (from left), Don Iveson and Kerry Diotte at the first mayoralty forum at the Chateau Lacombe on Sept. 24, 2013.
Photograph by: Bruce Edwards, Edmonton Journal
EDMONTON - Edmonton residents appear to be giving a ringing endorsement to mayoral front-runner Don Iveson’s position on the main election issues.
A Leger poll shows 43 per cent of respondents feel Iveson has the best vision for Edmonton’s long-term future, compared to 16 per cent for Karen Leibovici and 10 per cent for Kerry Diotte.
More than one-third of those questioned also indicated Iveson is best able to manage the city’s economic growth and would focus on the right priorities for Edmonton, with less than one in five naming Diotte or Leibovici.
“What’s encouraging … is the issues I have been talking about in the election have resonated with people,” Iveson said Thursday.
“Who I am is kind of important. What I stand for is very important … That’s the feedback I’m getting, is people were glad to hear me talk about ideas for how to move the city forward.”
The main candidates were closer in two other categories.
About 32 per cent of respondents felt Iveson would work best with the region and the province and 23 per cent preferred Leibovici, who has made leadership experience the heart of her campaign.
And there was almost a statistical tie on the question of who’s the most fiscally responsible, Diotte’s bedrock election plank — Iveson led at 24 per cent, Diotte had 22 per cent and Leibovici lagged slightly at 19 per cent.
The online poll, done Oct. 11-14, found 54 per cent of decided voters want Iveson for mayor, with 23 per cent supporting Leibovici and 19 per cent behind Diotte.
Leibovici said she doesn’t put much stock in these figures.
“What we’re hearing is it’s a close race, and we know that because of the endorsements we’re getting across the city from various communities, requests for signs … the donations we have and the number of volunteers.”
She insisted she’s the best candidate to handle the city’s business, describing herself as a fiscal hawk with a vision to move Edmonton forward endorsed by past and present MLAs.
“When you look at our momentum we have had in the past week, week and a half, it’s becoming very clear to Edmontonians that our campaign and my bid for mayor is the one that will actually move the city forward.”
Diotte was also unconcerned by the survey results.
“We know how accurate polls have been in previous elections. At the same time, we’re going to continue working … The only poll that counts is election day,” he said.
“The agenda we have is the agenda that Edmontonians care about, and I think we know it’s the arena, taxes, roads and infrastructure … My opponents’ agendas are not the agendas of Edmontonians.”
An automated telephone poll done Oct. 10 by Praxis Analytics determined 56 per cent of respondents feel the city is moving in the right direction on snow clearing, potholes, the downtown arena, taxes and debt.
The other 44 per cent said the city is generally going in the wrong direction on these issues.
While Diotte described this finding as “inconclusive,” he said these are core concerns raised during his campaign.
“At the doors we’re hearing those points exactly. That’s why I’m very hopeful.”
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