338Canada: Valérie Plante takes the lead in Montreal

Philippe J. Fournier: For the first time since fall 2020, a poll puts Plante ahead of Denis Coderre in the mayoral race, with all the momentum on the final day of the campaign

We will know on Sunday night whether Montreal voters will re-elect incumbent Mayor Valérie Plante for a second term at Montreal City Hall. Her main rival, former mayor Denis Coderre, has led every poll since he announced his return to municipal politics in March. However, the most recent data available on this race, published by Leger and CROP in October, showed Plante and Coderre in full heat in voting intentions (see the full list of Montreal polls on this page). In an almost carbon copy of the trends of the 2017 race among these candidates, Coderre started strong, and is now limping to the finish line.

With just one more day of campaigning before voters go to the polls this weekend (voting will take place on Saturday and Sunday), a new Mainstreet Research poll suggests Valérie Plante took the lead in this race for the first time in a municipal poll – by someone company – since autumn 2020.

Let’s look at the Mainstreet numbers. Among the full sample of respondents, Valérie Plante has the support of 46 percent of respondents, compared to 40 percent for Denis Coderre. Balarama Holness moves away in third place with just 5 percent support. Of the 850 respondents to this poll, 7 percent were undecided.

Among determined and inclined voters, Valérie Plante climbs to 49 percent of support, a six-point lead over Denis Coderre that stands at 43 percent:

Since the margin of error of the survey is ± 3 percent (19 times out of 20), Valérie Plante’s lead is therefore statistically significant. Indeed, at best for Coderre, according to Mainstreet, he would be connected with Plante; in the worst case, he would be back Planting in double digits.

Looking at the demographic details of the survey, Mainstreet’s numbers suggest that there is a significant linguistic divide in Montrealers ’voting intention. Indeed, among French-speaking voters, Mayor Valérie Plante has a 60 percent support, a massive 25-point lead over Denis Coderre:

However, among non-French-speaking voters, Denis Coderre leads with 51 percent, 14 points ahead of Valérie Plante. Balarama Holness, which has considerable support among French-speakers, climbs to 11 percent among non-French-speakers.

Although we should always be extremely careful about drawing conclusions from the sub-samples of a survey (sub-samples are smaller, so their uncertainty is higher), we also see a clear trend in favor of Valérie Plante among voters under 50. Indeed Plante leads Coderre at 16 .points between 18-34 year olds, and at 23 points between 35-49 year olds. The two candidates are statistically linked between 50-64 year olds (45 percent Plante, 44 percent Coderre). However, here may be good news for Coderre: He leads Plante by a 13-point margin among voters aged 65 and over – a demographic cut known to vote in a higher proportion than younger voters.

As shown in the table above, this survey by Mainstreet Research is the first poll in more than a year showing Valérie Plante led by Denis Coderre. Last March, shortly after Coderre publicly announced his return to city politics, Mainstreet measured a comfortable 17-point lead for the former Montreal mayor. According to Leger’s numbers, Coderre held a 12-point lead last May, but that lead completely evaporated by the end of October.

Will showers be in large numbers this weekend? While turnout was just 42.5 percent in the 2017 municipal elections, figures released by Elections Montreal indicate that 12.9 percent of eligible voters had already filled their ballots in primary elections last weekend. By comparison, only 5.6 percent of voters did so four years ago. Although whether higher turnout favors Plante or Coderre is unknown at this point, surveys clearly show that Valérie Plante is the one holding the momentum in the last stretch of this campaign. We will know on Sunday night if she will become the first re-elected mayor of The city since Gérald Tremblay in 2009.

* * *

The Mainstreet Research survey collected voting intentions from 850 Montreal voters from November 2 to 4, 2021. The margin of error for this probable survey is ± 3%, 19 times out of 20 (the margin of error is higher for subspecies). The data was collected by automatic calls (IVR: Interactive Voice Response). The survey report can be found here.

Leave a Comment