Mike Hurley has pulled ahead of Derek Corrigan in the race for the mayor’s chair in Burnaby, according to a new poll.
Hurley has 51 per cent support among decided voters to Corrigan’s 43 per cent, according to the poll conducted by Justason Market Intelligence (JMI) on Monday and Tuesday this week. The survey was conducted using landline and cell phones, as well as online. The sample of 469 people was weighted and normalized to the actual gender and age distribution of Burnaby residents.
(The sample size comes with a 4.5 per cent margin of error 95 per cent of the time. The decided voters poll of 239 comes with a 6.3 per cent margin of error.)
Barb Justason, the firm’s principal, told the NOW she was “blown away” when she first saw the results early Wednesday morning.
The results suggests Hurley has significant momentum going into Saturday’s election, she said. On Oct. 5, Justason published a poll showing Hurley and Corrigan neck and neck, with Corrigan, the five-time incumbent, slightly ahead with 43 per cent support to Hurley’s 42 per cent.
The first poll was commissioned by the International Association of Fire Fighters, of which Hurley is a leader and member but today’s poll was independently sponsored by JMI.
Justason said she had been “hearing anecdotal evidence of growing enthusiasm for Mr. Hurley” and felt compelled to investigate it. She said she expected to see the two frontrunners polling in the same range as the first poll and was surprised to see Hurley had opened up an eight-point lead.
But Justason said she took a close look at the finer points of data and confirmed it wasn’t a “rogue poll.”
The polling found Hurley’s support increases with the age of voters. Among those aged 18 to 34, Hurley enjoys 45 per cent to Corrigan’s 43 (a statistical tie). That gap grows significantly among 35 to 54 year olds, who support Hurley at a rate of 51 per cent to Corrigan’s 44. And among voters 55+, Hurley has the biggest lead over Corrigan with 54 per cent of decided voters intending to vote for the former firefighter over the incumbent (43 per cent).
Forty per cent of respondents identified affordable housing as the number one issue, with the Trans Mountain pipeline coming in a distant second at 18 per cent.
Justason said this anxiety about housing is likely the source of Hurley’s support.
She said Hurley’s plan to implement a moratorium on development and demovictions in Metrotown has likely garnered him a lot of support.
“I get the impression that Burnaby voters are ready to embrace some optimism on that front,” she said.
What does all this mean for Hurley’s chances to upset Corrigan? Only time will tell, Justason said. While she stands by the reliability of the results, the pollster said the get-out-the-vote effort will likely be the deciding factor come Saturday.
Corrigan’s Burnaby Citizens Association has a long track record of winning elections and likely has a strong system in place to get its supporters to the polls, she said, but its harder to predict how successful political newcomer Hurley will be in his own efforts.