Poll shows Vision Vancouver 11% drop in popularity since fall

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


The trend-lines for Vision Vancouver are not going in the right direction

Vision Vancouver political operatives and their elusive financial backers can't take much comfort from a Justason Market Intelligence poll released on Tuesday afternoon. It shows that the party brand is taking a beating, and that voters are less impressed by the notion of a Vision government returning to office in November.

The numbers are stark for the party. Since August the party's popularity, which has always held up well next to the plummeting ratings for leader Gregor Robertson, has gone down 11%. Robertson himself has ticked up modestly during that time, but the poll did not have him running against an opponent. When a hypothetical opponent was added to the poll last November – in that case it was NPA councillor Suzanne Anton – Vision & the NPA were in a statistical dead heat.

Reflecting on the results, the Justason says:

“There is no question that the fortunes of the NPA are changing,” says pollster, Barb Justason. “It may be a challenge to unseat the mayor; but I’d be surprised not to see more representation from NPA in Council after the November election.”

The poll highlights are summed up as follows:

Intelligence finds that support for Vision Vancouver has fallen since February to 41% of decided voters. Currently, 30% would support NPA, this level relatively consistent since August 2010. Notably, the gap between NPA and Vision is the narrowest recorded since August 2010. Support for COPE stands at 17%.

Despite some decline in support for the party, half (53%) of Vancouver residents “approve” of the performance of Mayor Gregor Robertson. Disapproval remains unchanged at 29%.

Of the three municipal parties in Vancouver, only the NPA have trended upward this winter. Both COPE and Vision have lost ground during this time. It's been said that COPE without a leader is virtually guaranteed to lose seats to an emerging NPA, and a party wipeout would be Vision's greatest hope for their left wing cousins on council, school and park board.

What else does the Justason poll suggest? There are many possible scenarios, particularly now the long rumoured launch of Suzanne Anton's mayoralty run could be announced on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday afternoon a media advisory was sent out stating that Anton would be making a "special announcement" on Wednesday morning, and immediately the Twitter posts among media started heating up with speculation about her candidacy for mayor.

If true, this means that pollsters will no longer have to speculate about Mayor Gregor having an opponent. He will have one, and it will be sure to tighten up the race for both the top job and council seats. The NPA is shortly about to announce its candidate line-up for all three boards.

With Vision dipping in the polls and the NPA ticking upward, the pressure will be on Mayor Gregor to uphold the waning Vision brand. Robertson may look the part of mayor, but when he gets the inevitable challenge to debate Anton he's less impressive on his feet. If you are counting, give the advantage to the NPA on town hall talks between the mayoral candidates, provided Robertson actually consents to a debate.

My bet is that Mike Magee will do everything possible to stall and delay an appearance by Robertson beside Anton.

It appears that Robertson's negatives are remaining high. Almost one-in-three people polled either feeling strongly or somewhat strongly opposed to Gregor. The question to ask then is which voter will show up at the polling station in November? Remember that with voter turnout in the low thirty percentile, it only takes a handful of voters (angry or otherwise) to cause an upset.

If the political strategists were to take anything else out of the Justason poll it's that the expanded casino was a losing issue. In the end council approved a new casino next to BC Place, but at the same number of tables and slots as the one currently housed at the Plaza of Nations. As a political issue it's effectively dead, as Paragon is unlikely to make another move before an election.

Vision will try to spin this poll as good news for them, with Gregor ticking up a few points. But recall the Mayor's numbers were not so long ago in the high seventies. They've been declining ever since, bouncing somewhere between the low forties to low fifties. All it would take is one fare evasion scandal, or another effing NPA hacks moment and Vision could be sent packing.

What's clear is that if Anton indeed enters the race on Wednesday, it's going to be the most unpredictable election campaign in recent memory. With this being the first time an incumbent Vancouver mayor has run for re-election since 1999, you could give Gregor that advantage. However, the way Vancouver has been going through mayors over the last decade, anything is possible.

UPDATE: The Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee gets an exclusive interview with Suzanne Anton in this morning's paper where she has announced her intentions to run for mayor.

Other media who have covered Anton's announcement include CTV, News 1130, Georgia Straight, The Province.

- post by Daniel. Follow @CityCaucus for the latest tweets on the Anton announcement on Wednesday morning after 10am.


I cannot see Anton beating Robertson - period. That would be too bad because the NPA would lose that institutional history on council and obvious name recognition.

I am thinking a strong NPA majority with Gregor as mayor would be a feasible and positive outcome.

Who would have ever thought a few weeks ago NDP chief Jack Layton would be official opposition leader and moving into stornoway? Few predicted Harper would get a majority. Fewer still said David Eby would give Clark a run for her money in the bi-election.

I am feeling like these are strange times in politics. Anton may look like a long shot, but if the public feels they are tired of being called "Fu$$en NPA hacks", you never know what might happen.

At a minimum, I see at least 4-5 NPA councillors getting elected. But wouldn't it be delicious if Robertson won and faced an NPA majority on council. Ha ha ha ha ha ha...just deserts! Let's wait till the first poll comes out asking questions about Robertson vs Anton. Then we may get a better picture.

Anton has shown what she can do as one person standing up to the Vision machine. Backed up by other candidates, a plan for moving the city out of the Vision-inspired doldrums, and a solid campaign team including (according to Jeff Lee's story) Norman Stowe, suddenly this becomes a horse race.

Agree with Daniel that Gregor is hopeless without a script. Anton, a former prosecutor, can make this an interesting campaign by challenging the mayor on his lousy record of leadership.

This should be interesting.

This was taken from the Globe article:

...'Vision Vancouver executive director Ian Baillie said it doesn’t follow political common sense that people would vote for Mr. Robertson but elect an NPA majority council.


I don't know, we are witnessing changes in politics and the way people vote.

I wouldn't count it out.

Max, wouldn't that be an interesting situation....I only hope that we get rid of the lock step mentality of this council... bring back ideas and honest debate....

What I find rather sad overall, is that Vancouver can only attact two persons interested in being its Mayor.

Here is a city, voted in the top 10 of best places to live - internationally, one of the best beaches (Kits Beach #3), host of the Olympics, and everything else it has to offer, and yet, only two persons are interested in taking the helm.

It is just kind of sad.

The Thought of The Night

“A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum.


Why Suzan, why? Whatever did I do to you?”

Suzan Anton. If she does indeed go through with this announcement, she leaves me no choice. Noblesse oblige.
I cannot allow George to have no one to vote for in November.

Though, I’ll have to say I’ll do it under four or five conditions:

1 ‘Phantom of the Vancouver City Opera’ clause…no one finds out who I am until after the win. (which means loosing it’s not an option)
2 ‘The Otolaryngologist’ team clause…Eyes, Mouth, Ears…which translates into a ‘Tamara Taggart’ public Image with an Alex G Tsakumis Voice and my favourite Listening Equation,

LE = [(George + Max + Julia + Larry + Joe...)^3] x n!

^3 = Democracy Cubed
n = The Public Outrage Integer, for n>0

3 ‘Brain Augmentation’ clause…Michael Geller, Bing Thom, Jimmy Pattison free brain picking sessions
4 ‘No Mercy’ clause…Geneva Convention not applicable, take no prisoners. campaign
5 ‘The Robin’ da Hood Investment Fund’ clause…in the spirit of Renewal, Tides, and Endswell – raise our own ethical, sustainable, carbon offset, organic Fund

I think I am being both reasonable and realistic here, ain’t I?

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Max it is very sad, but just take a look at what happens on this blog,when Gregor the screw up is criticized.. would you put your family through the hate filled dirty tactics that Vision use to satisfy their agenda...

just listen to Gregor on the news this morning... this man is incapable of good sportsmanship... but that could be his undoing... there are many out there holding brown envelopes, that could make Mayor Gregor look very foolish in the end...

Glissando I just wish you were serious...we could use someone like you...

funny for the longest time I took you seriously about running...silly me, but I still love you man... sigh...

Hi George:

Missed this morning's news - work.

But odd that you bring up sportsmanship - a short while ago Robertson was on the news siting the hopes of a 'clean campaign'....but then again, I remember the same similar lines in 2008.

Not a problem, you fight fire with fire and well, Vision has many ghosts in their collective closet.

And I hate to say this, but Mike will end up getting a lot of Vision attention as he knows a lot of their secrets, has outed a lot of their secrets and well, has people that will help him unearth others.



Max, just had another thought...

Mike as well as AGT have many secrets... this won't be good for Gregor... you made a very valid point!!


re Canada Post strike - on Global noon, they stated it could happen as early as next week. (I had heard May 26)

Welfare cheques are going out early - May 18, just in case.

actually Max I got that Cupe release a few days ago from Ottawa..

the reason I first put out the question was because of the HST referendum...I wondered if it would interfere...or if the date of the referendum was planned around it..or to be redirected intentionally by it.... see how my mind works. LOL

but what about me? who am I voting for for Mayor? BTW Glissy should know he could count on me too. And really George,if you read his post again, there is still hope, she stated clearly 'what he needs' (in his own funny way yeah but still) As for anonymity, wouldn't you go for that, if you were running against a Vindictive Vision machine (look what had happened in the City Hall during their reign) and who knows possibly NPA? The odds for any independent running in this city are not good, ask anyone, do I wish he runs? Yes! Jesus, I am so disappointed with the possibility of having to choose between tricycle boy and the flipping burgers lady that I am seeing the 'Glissando Remmy' character as a savior of this city. I may be off here, so don't freakin' laugh, but wouldn't you wish for Batman to show up and take the city back from the Mob? You laugh you die! :-)

Hey everyone, just for the fun of it:

Kits in the 70's....



I think it is a fabulous idea... if only we could convince Glissy. I can't tell if he is serious or just playing with us..

I really wish he was serious, I know we all would volunteer to help...I haven't got much to offer but loyalty, honesty, and lots of time...

Glissando I'm putting this out to you... create a anonymous email address...

I am sending AGT an email authorizing him to give you my email address and phone number..just putting it out there... call me ;-)

This is a stupid question, but I don't know the answer... if Suzanne runs for Mayor she can't change her mind and go back to running for Council can she or can she??

Everyday is an education ...

Max that was fun..
I wasn't in Vancouver back then...loved the hand holding the bread (Mother Hubbard sign)

nope, if Anton loses, there is no council fall-back and she is off the radar for 3 years.

Remember it well :)

Amazing that quite a few of the buildings are around still.

Peters ice cream (sigh)
After washing the family car every week(along with other chores) my allowance included an ice cream cone at Peters.

It is funny seeing the Naam, I live in the vacinity.

Something you don't see is that the gas station that is at the corner of 4th and Macdonald has been there since the 40's. I have a pick somewhere of it.

The view looking towards the water from 4th and Vine hasn't changed much.

As a family, we used to go for a drive to look at the Hippies! LOL. Tiger Tail ice cream at Peters was the best! Forgot about some awesome meals at the Bavarian Room.

great fun.

Okay Julia and Chris...

Now I want ice cream!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

And they had real Sarsaparilla...mmm Tiger Tail

what is Tiger tail?... I've never heard of it..

Julia, you may be right, but I believe a lot of traditional NPA voters stayed home or voted VV last time after the infighting between Sullivan and Ladner. If Anton is the sole candidate, they may rally around her. She's smart and has stood up to Robertson & VV pretty much singlehanded.


earlier today I said this to you..

"the reason I first put out the question was because of the HST referendum"

then I noticed it got picked up on twitter...then tonight's news...and a few minutes ago I notice the Sun online has now posted an article about the strike and HST... so do you think someone was eavesdropping on our conversation.... LOL that is kind of creepy...

The Thought of The Evening

“If I were a cat, yeah, I would probably like the water...in my drinking water bowl. I would most probably not like to take a bath though. “

I am a cat person. Meaning... I have a cat. Once, when he was younger (the cat), I tried to give him a bath. I even had a leftover baby bath tub; you would say cat-size. Shampoo, bubbles, sponge, the whole ten yards...

Now, what was I thinking? Just because they lick themselves hours at a time, it doesn’t mean they like to be helped out once in a while...and watered. Nope. So what followed was something out of a tragi-comedy routine at the Apollo. To say that I gave him a bath would be an understatement, in fact he gave me one!

So, what I am trying to say here is no one should try to bath a feline. A sponge bath? Maybe, but only if administered by a cat nurse.

I am surprised, humbled and excited by what I’ve read recently on some blogs, and how people that I don’t know and never met, have formed this idea about me... that I could be candidate material.

But the thing is, I would never enter a race, just for the sake of racing. I am not Eby.

It’s hard to win when you are part of a party machine,but hey when you have a 500 years plan to back you up, with lots of manpower, open bar and unlimited resources as in $$$.

Look what happened to the Federal Liberals. Then, let's be frank, anyone who enters a contest for a top job (job they never did before) you really have to be a shrewd individual, a person so unqualified and with an ego so big that their head would be spinning way up in the stratosphere.

Look at Robertson. Look at Clark. They are your best examples, or the worst. I wouldn’t let any of them babysit my 20ft Boa Constrictor pet. I would be worried sick.

I am not like them. I heard today Suzan Anton’s interview on the radio, just before the hockey game. Topics: Casino, bike lanes, homelessness, bla, bla, bla, yada, yada, yada,only she sounded way better than what Robbie could articulate.

Apparently, as a ground breaking rule, all politicians need to be laying down a platform, for all you peons, to munch on, and discuss, and dissect, and take home to analyze some more.

Whatever happened to the ‘I’ll do the best I can, for the most; using everything I have at my disposal’?

Promises are like Diet Cola...empty calories.
Anyway, long story short. Right now, I feel like that cat of mine, sitting in front of the bath tub, only I already know everything about the bath. Would I like people to soap me, touch me and sponge me, and put my head under the shower? Dunno.

The one thing that I could get accustomed to though, would be the hair drying time, the massage, the attention and the styling. But I’ll still have to take the bath ain’t I?

I will have to have some thinking to do. Till then...

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.



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