Tight race for Montreal mayor
Published Friday, October 30, 2009 6:51PM EDT
With just two days left before the municipal election, a new poll finds there's no clear frontrunner in the race for mayor of Montreal.
An Angus Reid poll conducted for La Presse shows that Gerald Tremblay, Louise Harel and Richard Bergeron are in a statistical tie ahead of the Nov. 1 vote.
The survey was conducted Oct. 28-29 amongst 804 adult Montrealers.
Vision Montreal mayoral candidate Louise Harel has the support of 34% of decided voters, followed by Project Montreal leader Richard Bergeron, with 32 per cent.
Mayor Gerald Tremblay, who won 2005's mayoral election by a 25 point margin, falls slightly behind his opponents, with 30 per cent.
According to Jaideep Mukerji, vice-president of public affairs at Angus Reid Strategies, Bergeron is the candidate who has made the most significant gains.
"I'm not surprised. It was our plan for the campaign," said Bergeron, in response to the new numbers.
In an interview with La Presse, Mukerji said Bergeron only had the support of 14 per cent of decided voters when a poll was taken at the beginning of September.
A youtube.com video has popped up recently, showing Bergeron in a 1999 interview with former journalist Michaelle Jean about running over jaywalkers, how the most powerful car a woman should drive is a Toyota Tercel, and how 9/11 was an inside job, but the damning video doesn't seem to be deterring voters.
"I'm not ashamed of anything in that video," said Bergeron.
Meanwhile, the latest allegations to hit Tremblay are reports that his team wants to raise taxes by 16 per cent over four years.
"No one can say in advance what we're going to do. Why not 25? Why not 30 per cent? It's a number that's not realistic at all," he said.
For her part, Louise Harel is demanding the mayor come clean about the city's finances. She had promised to freeze taxes in 2010, but now says it may not be possible.
"Montrealers deserve the truth on the city's financial situation and the mayor must stop playing hide-and-seek," said Harel.
The most recent poll shows that 65 per cent of Montrealers are unsatisfied with the municipal administration.
Thirty-six percent of respondents said recent scandals have greatly influenced their voting intentions.
Meanwhile, the Montreal mayoral race is the subject of discussion across the country.
The cover of this week's Maclean's magazine features a striking headline: "Montreal is a corrupt, crumbling, Mob-ridden disgrace."
The story addresses allegations of Mafia influence in politics, inflated construction contracts, and widespread corruption.
With files from The Canadian Press