Some pundits act like they know the results of Vancouver's 2011 civic election already
With the announcement that two-term Vancouver city councillor Suzanne Anton will be running as the NPA’s mayoral candidate this fall, the stage has been set for what could become a very interesting civic election.
Not surprisingly, some media prognosticators have already written off Anton’s candidacy. If you believe their chatter, Gregor Robertson has the mayor’s job sewn up for another three years – boom, done, thanks for coming!
Or does he?
Just weeks ago there were only a few people who said Prime Minister Stephen Harper would be able to secure a majority government without the support of Quebec. We know how that story ended.
Last month, most of the political punditry wrote off David Eby in his quest to beat Premier Christy Clark in the Vancouver-Point Grey byelection. In the end, Eby came within a few hundred votes of victory.
Clearly, voter behaviour is not as easy to predict as it once was. Some are calling it the “Rob Ford Factor,” after Toronto’s volatile and conservative mayor. After years of left-wing mayors, no one would have predicted Toronto would elect one from the right.
A week can be an eternity in politics, and writing off Anton and her supporting cast of candidates six months out would be foolish. Anton will have to battle to unseat an incumbent, but I predict that even if Robertson does win the mayor’s chair, Vision will not get another substantive majority government as in 2008.
In politics, momentum is everything. In the case of Vision Vancouver, the momentum hasn’t been on their side. In February, Vision were polling at 51 per cent support, compared with 25 per cent for the NPA. A recent poll by Justason Marketing Intelligence (JMI) reveals Vision has dropped 10 points to 41 per cent, with the NPA now at 30 per cent – and that’s before they had a leader.
Robertson has the edge today, but pollster Barb Justason stated she expects the NPA to regain seats. How many seats is anyone’s guess.
Another X-factor is the Green Party. Rumours are swirling that Adriane Carr may be considering a run for the mayor’s job too. If she does, all bets are off as to who might win this fall’s contest.
We’re a long way from election day in Vancouver, and I sense that the final political event of this year will be full of surprises.
- Post by Daniel. You can also read his weekly civic affairs column which appears every Thursday in 24 Hours Vancouver.