A new poll is showing Valerie Plante and Denis Coderre is an extremely tight race as Montrealers decide on their next mayor.
In the last week of the municipal election campaign, the CROP poll conducted for Radio-Canada gives Plante a slight edge with 39 per cent of the vote and Coderre with 37 per cent.
The poll also shows that 17 per cent of voters remain undecided. The vote was conducted between Oct. 19 and 24, when 1,094 Montrealers were surveyed online.
The poll asked Montrealers to weigh the two main candidates on five defining qualities: leadership, integrity, how well they listen to citizens, arrogance and inspiration.
Helping inaugurate a new bio-farm in Saint-Laurent Monday morning, Coderre commented on the perception that Montrealers find him arrogant.
The poll showed 55 per cent of citizens find him arrogant, versus only 17 per cent for Plante. Interestingly, the same per centage – 55 – find Coderre to show leadership, more than Plante at 46 per cent.
"People expect to have a leader that respects them and represents them, that they feel will listen to their concerns," said Plante. "This is something Denis Coderre has been lacking in the past four years."
Coderre made no apologies for the perception he is arrogant, saying he’s 54 and doesn’t intend to change his character – adding his arrogance has helped him do the job effectively.
“Listen, to be arrogant is to be determined. In the last four year, remember all those fights we had with the unions? It was not that easy. When you have a $5.2-billion budget, you have to take care of 28,000 employees, and all issues are coming from all over the place, well sometimes you have to have somebody who can take the heat and can make a difference,” he said.
Coderre also said it was no surprise it’s a tight race, because there are only two high-profile candidates in the election.