Poll gives Denis Coderre healthy lead in race for mayoralty
MONTREAL - Denis Coderre is the favourite to become mayor on November 3, according to a poll which puts the former Liberal MP well ahead of other candidates.
The CROP poll released Tuesday evening pegged Coderre’s support at 41 percent of voters, once undecided voters were factored in. Political neophyte Melanie Joly has risen to second place with 24 percent, outscoring Projet Montreal leader Richard Bergeron, who has 21 percent support. Beleaguered Coalition Montreal party chief Marcel Côté has seen his support dwindle to just 11 percent.
However voters are not pinned down to any one candidate. 21 percent of those polled saying they were undecided.
Without the distribution of undecided voters, Coderre's support dropped to 31 percent, with 17 percent supporting Joly, 16 percent favouring Bergeron, and 8 percent picking Coté. Only 6 percent said they would not vote.
Voters still making up their minds
In a separate question CROP asked if voters were likely to change their mind, and 34 percent said it was possible they would.
To that question 41 percent answered they did not know who they were voting for with any certainty, while only 27 percent said their mind was made up.
The poll of 1,001 people was conducted online from Oct. 11 to 15, and the polling agency said it balanced reponses according to gender, age, and ethnic makeup of the city.
During that time Coté was under fire from critics for conducting robocalls criticizing Projet Montreal. Elections Quebec ruled that the money spent on the robocall campaign would not be reimbursed as a valid campaign expense.
He was not worried about the poll results.
"Anything can happen. and I have my own beliefs. As you can see I'm quite confident and I'm pursuing my strategy and I believe that at the end of the day people will vote on substance," Coté said.
At a campaign event on Wednesday Joly said that she and her team were very happy with the poll, saying it indicates Montrealers are ready for a change away from the old guard.
An earlier Leger poll put Coderre out in front with 39 percent of decided voters.
Coderre rallies supporters
News of the poll was welcome to Coderre’s troops, who were in high spirits Tuesday at a rally attended by about 2,000 at the Palais des Congres.
Such notables as Just for Laughs’ Andy Nulman and jazzman Oliver Jones were on hand to offer their support as the crowd chanted Coderre's first name.
However Coderre cautioned that while he's confident, he's not going to stop campaigning just yet.
"Stick to the plan. remember the movie Hoosiers with Gene Hackman? Stick to the plan. and look what happened at the end," said Coderre.
That plan, plainly stated, is to continue stating that in spite of the many scandals that have plagued the city in the recent past, most politicians and bureaucrats are honest and that Montrealers need to overlook their differences and work together.
One of those politicians now on Team Coderre is former city of Montreal speaker and Union Montreal member Harout Chitilian.
"We keep working, we keep pushing forward and ultimately the citizens decide on the third of November," said Chitilian.