Majority want Fennell charged in Brampton expenses scandal

| Filed under: Ontario

Three quarters want audit dealt with before election

TORONTO SEPTEMBER 27th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 928 Brampton voters, more than half think Mayor Fennell should be charged with a crime in the expenses scandal (55%), while half this proportion think otherwise (28%) and somewhat fewer don't have an opinion (17%).

Two thirds disapprove of Fennell's lawsuit; three quarters want audit dealt with now

Two third of Brampton's voters disapprove of Mayor Fennell suing Deloitte, the city's auditors (67%), while just one fifth approve (19%). Somewhat fewer have no opinion (15%). Of note, two thirds of those who voted for Mayor Fennell last time disapprove of the lawsuit now (65%). One third of those who plan to vote for her this time also disapprove (33%). Three quarters want to see the audit tabled and the expenses scandal dealt with by council before the election on October 27 (74%), while one fifth do not (20%) and very few don't have an opinion (6%). Even the majority of her supporters (57%) want this matter dealt with now.

Linda Jeffrey with comfortable lead for mayor

More than 4-in-10 voters will support Linda Jeffrey for mayor (42%), compared to fewer than one fifth who will vote for either Mayor Fennell or councillor John Sanderson (17% each). Few will vote Hargy Randhawa (5%) or either Gurjjt Grewal or Devinder Sangha (3% each). Just more than a tenth are undecided (13%). Jeffrey's vote is common to the oldest (52%), the best educated (post grad - 50%) and past provincial Liberal voters (58%). Fennell's vote is characterized by the youngest (21%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 24%) but also the least educated (22%). Of note, only one quarter of those who voted for her last time will vote for Mayor Fennell this time (24%). Sanderson's support is concentrated among the oldest (55 to 64 - 28%, 65+ - 26%), the wealthier ($80K to $100K - 22%) and those of British Isles origin (30%). Jeffrey's support is especially strong in the southwest quadrant of the city, south of Queen and west of Hurontario (45%). Her support is weaker in the southeast quadrant on the other side of Hurontario south of Queen St (35%). Fennell's support is stronger in the southeast (19%). Sanderson does better south of Queen St (21%) than north of it (16%).

Jeffrey with highest awareness and approval.

Linda Jeffrey is known to two thirds of voters (69%), and of these, an astounding 8-in-10 approve of her (80%). John Sanderson is known to one half (53%) and is approved of by two thirds (67%). Awareness for the other candidates is one quarter or less, and their approval among these smaller groups is less than half. Mayor Fennell has the lowest approval tested, at just more than a quarter (28%), but this is an improvement over last month (August 9 - 21% approval). Just less than three quarters disapprove of her now (72%) compared to 8-in-10 last month (79%).

Fewer now want Fennell to resign

Just fewer than two thirds of Brampton voters want Mayor Fennell to resign (63%), down from close to 7-in-10 last month (69%). Three-in-ten don't want to see her resign (29%). Those who want her to hang tight are most likely to be the youngest (34%), males (33%), the wealthiest (41%) and those who claim a Canadian ethnic background (33%).

“The only reason I can see that Mayor Fennell's ratings have improved a bit since last month is that they hit rock bottom then and bounced a bit. This mayor's race is Linda Jeffrey's to lose, but she'll have a difficult job as mayor knitting a sorely divided city back together," 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.