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Election 2015

New Polls Pose Conundrum for Vancouver Granville Strategic Voters

One puts Liberal and New Dem in dead heat; another puts Lib far ahead.

Doug Ward 14 Oct

Doug Ward is a Vancouver-based freelance writer who was previously a reporter with the Vancouver Sun. Find his Tyee stories here.

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The surge in Liberal support nationally and in parts of British Columbia is making strategic voting a tricky exercise in the new riding of Vancouver Granville, where Leadnow's Vote Together pledge has been signed by more people than in any riding in the country.

The third Leadnow poll in Vancouver Granville, released Tuesday, found that Liberal Jody Wilson-Raybould and New Democrat Mira Oreck are in a dead heat, with Conservative Erinn Broshko in third, but within striking distance.

"Our poll shows that there is a statistical tie and that if we vote together we could clearly beat the Conservative," said Leadnow executive director Lyndsay Poaps.

Leadnow has sent out an email to its roughly 5,000 Anybody-But-Conservative pledge signers in Vancouver Granville asking whether they want to endorse a candidate, given Oreck and Wilson-Raybould enjoy similar levels of support. The email goes on to ask which candidate should get the official Leadnow nod, if a majority votes for an endorsement.

"We will recommend a candidate if there is a clear mandate from the community to do so," Poaps said.

Liberal surges

The survey, conducted between Oct. 9 and 11 by Environics Research, suggests that Wilson-Raybould has the support of 35 per cent of respondents, with Oreck at 33 per cent and Broshko at 28 per cent.

Poaps said that the question of whether to make an endorsement in Vancouver Granville is unusual because in most ridings where Leadnow is active, there is a clear front-runner in the race to defeat the Conservative.

The results are a remarkable turnaround for Liberal candidate Wilson-Raybould, who trailed badly in third place according to the first Leadnow poll conducted in mid-August. Her rise in local polling reflects pro-Liberal trends elsewhere, especially in urban areas.

Indeed, another poll, one provided by Leadnow to its supporters, shows that Wilson-Raybould has a commanding lead, at 44 per cent to Oreck at 28 per cent, with Broshko at 20 per cent. Mainstreet Research conducted this poll on Oct. 8 for the pro-CBC group, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

Liberal communications staffer Mike Witherly said the latest polling suggests that Wilson-Raybould has the momentum. While the Leadnow poll shows that Wilson-Raybould's lead over Oreck is within the margin of error, he said, "the trend is very clear."

He added: "I'm wondering whether this organization (Leadnow) is going to stick with its mandate and follow the data as the best way to defeat Stephen Harper."

Meanwhile, the final wave of Leadnow polling in selected ridings found that New Democrats are best positioned to defeat the Conservative candidates in Kootenay-Columbia (Wayne Stetski), Nanaimo-Ladysmith (Sheila Malcolmson), Port Moody-Coquitlam (Fin Donnelly) and North Island-Powell River (Rachel Blaney).  [Tyee]

Read more: Election 2015

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