Watson with clear lead over Maguire for mayor

| Filed under: National

Taxes, transit most important issues in this election

TORONTO SEPTEMBER 18th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1096 Ottawa voters, more than 4-in-10 will vote for incumbent mayor Jim Watson (44%), compared to fewer than half this proportion who will vote for his nearest contender, Mike Maguire (17%). Other candidates draw few votes. Fully 3-in-10 are still undecided (30%).

Maguire with higher approval than Watson

Mayor Watson has the approval of two thirds (63%), but, among the 4-in-10 who are aware of him (44%), three quarters approve of Mike Maguire (73%). Awareness for Maguire is especially high among the oldest (55 to 64 - 57%, 65+ - 55%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 52%) and provincial PCs (63%). His approval is higher among the same groups. Jim Watson's approval is high among females (67%), the least wealthy (70%), the best educated (post grad - 68%) and provincial Liberals (85%). Awareness of other candidates is low, and their approval is moderate.

Taxes, transit, jobs most important election issues

When presented with a list of civic issues, the ones seen to be most important are property taxes (22%) and transit (17%), followed by jobs and growth (16%), ethics in government (11%), eliminating waste (10%), waste collection (7%) and development (6%).

Expansion of light rail is biggest issue in Ottawa's development

When presented with a number of civic initiatives and asked which are important to Ottawa's development, fully three quarters agree expanding LRT to the west, south and east is key (76%), followed by more than half who think the Ottawa River Action Plan is important to development (54%). One half agree cycling infrastructure is important (50%), whereas just a third think this of a new central library (37%). The vast majority of those who use transit daily think LRT expansion is key to Ottawa's development (86%).

4-in-10 take transit at least weekly

More than 4-in-10 take transit in Ottawa at least weekly (42%), and one quarter take it daily (25%). Daily transit use is common to the youngest (39%), the least wealthy (40%), renters (34%) and mothers of children under 18 (34%).

"While more voters cite the pocketbook issue as their biggest concern in this election, the real vote mover is transit development. Jim Watson's support for LRT expansion is critical to his continued popularity," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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