Judy Wasylycia-Leis is the front-runner to become Winnipeg's next mayor, according to poll results released this morning.
The poll, commissioned by online news outlet ChrisD.ca, shows the former NDP MP with 21 per cent of respondents, eight per centage points more than political newcomer Brian Bowman (13 per cent) and nine points ahead of former Winnipeg city councillor Gord Steeves (12 per cent).
Robert-Falcon Ouellette and Paula Havixbeck earned six and two per cent of the decided vote, the poll indicates, with the largest group of voters remaining undecided (39 per cent).
When the 39-per-cent undecided vote is removed from the results presented by Forum, Wasylycia-Leis had the support of 34 per cent of decided voters, followed by Bowman at 20 per cent, Steeves at 19 per cent, Ouellette at 10 per cent and Havixbeck at three per cent, with others at 13 per cent.
Pollsters typically report the decided vote in the belief it is a better indicator of voter intentions at a given point in time.
The poll, a random sampling of 606 Winnipeg voters, was done by the Forum Poll research group.
"In municipal politics especially, name recognition is everything, which is why incumbency matters so much. Judy's been a good federal foot soldier in Winnipeg for years, and she's well known for it, so there's no surprise in her leading the race at this point," Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, founder and president of Forum Research, said in a statement.
As expected, Wasylycia-Leis is doing well with NDP voters (32 per cent) and Liberals (27 per cent), while Bowman (20 per cent) and Steeves (24 per cent) are popular within the Conservative sect. Bowman is also trending well with the Liberals vote (24 per cent).
Accountability and infrastructure renewal are seen to be the biggest issues among voters, with both subjects garnering 27 per cent of the interest. Taxation (11 per cent), crime (10 per cent), homelessness and downtown revitalization (seven per cent) and insect control (four per cent) are the issues deemed less important to voters, according to the poll.
The poll was conducted Wednesday and has margin of error of plus or minus four per cent, 19 out of 20 times.