Guthrie leads race for Guelph mayor

| Filed under: National

Guthrie has twice the approval of Farbridge

TORONTO AUGUST 26th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 891 Guelph voters, well more than a third will vote for Cam Guthrie in the municipal election of October 27 (36%), compared to one fifth who will vote to re-elect Mayor Karen Farbridge (21%). Jason Blokhuis attracts less than a twentieth of the vote (4%) and no other candidate gets a significant vote share. More than a third are still undecided (36%). Cam Guthrie's support is common to the oldest (44%), lower income groups ($20K to $40K - 45%), the least educated (secondary school or less - 48%), those without kids (40%) and provincial PC voters (61%). Farbridge's vote is characterized by younger groups (35 to 44 - 26%), males (23%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 27%), the best educated (post grad - 36%) and provincial Liberals (37%).

Guthrie with twice the approval of Farbridge

Among the 8-in-10 voters who are aware of him (79%), fully three quarters approve of Cam Guthrie (73%), compared to just more than a third who approve of the job Karen Farbridge is doing as mayor (37%). Awareness of any of the other candidates is limited, as is their approval, with the exception of Andrew Donovan, of whom just one seventh are aware (15%) but one half approve (52%).

3-in-10 will vote online

Three-in-ten voters will cast their ballot online in this election (29%), and this intention is common to the younger voters (less than 35 - 34%, 35 to 44 - 36%), the wealthiest ($80K to $100K - 38%, $100K to $250K - 39%), property owners (33%), the best educated (38%), mothers (37%), provincial Liberals (34%) and Green voters (38%), and those who support Karen Farbridge (35%).

Opinion split on new South End Rec Centre

Relatively equal proportions support (44%) or oppose (48%) spending tax dollars on a South End Recreation Centre during this term, while about one fifth have no opinion (7%). Mayor Farbridge's supporters are more likely to favour the idea (55%) than are Guthrie voters (39%).

Majority disapprove of new library now

The majority, close to 6-in-10 (58%) disapprove of spending tax dollars during this term on a new library downtown, while just more than a third approve (36%). One fifth are undecided (6%). Farbridge voters are far more supportive (67%) than Guthrie voters (14%)

One half do not expect tax increase over inflation

One half the voters in Guelph do not expect to see property tax increases over the rate of inflation during this term (52%), while 4-in-10 expect to see them (42%). One fifth do not know (6%).

Transit lockout doesn't affect vote, wrongful dismissal suit does

Just 4-in-10 voters say the transit lockout will affect their vote (40%), while more than half say it will not (52%). In contrast, the majority say the wrongful dismissal suit connected with the building of city hall will affect their vote (53%), while the minority say it won't (38%). Guthrie supporters are more likely to say the lockout will affect their vote (46%) than will Farbridge voters (15%), and this is especially the case with the wrongful dismissal suit (Guthrie voters - 75%, Farbridge voters - 11%).

"It looks like the controversies of her administration have caught up with her, and Karen Farbridge may have to surrender her chain of office. Cam Guthrie has obviously tapped into a vein of conservative-leaning support that sees big money city-building projects as unnecessary," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.