EXCLUSIVE: Eisenberger leads in mayoral poll

By Matthew Van Dongen / Hamilton Spectator

A new poll that gives Fred Eisenberger the early lead in Hamilton’s mayoral race also shows more than a third of voters remain undecided.

The random poll of 839 city residents, conducted for the Spectator by Forum Research, shows the former mayor leading with 26 per cent support, followed by current councillors Brad Clark at 17 per cent and Brian McHattie at 12 per cent.

Forum president Lorne Bozinoff said the poll is notable for the “huge” percentage of voters, 34 per cent, who remain undecided with a month left in the Oct. 27 race.

“No one wins a mayoral race with 26 per cent of the vote,” said Bozinoff.

He also noted 11% of respondents said they wouldn’t vote for Eisenberger, McHattie, or Clark, the perceived front-runners.

“I’m surprised no one is doing better at this stage … It suggests no one has really caught the imagination of voters yet.”

The trend in support also appeared to mirror voter familiarity with the leading candidates.

More than 80 per cent of respondents indicated ‘awareness” of Eisenberger, the former mayor and councillor, compared to 68 per cent for Clark, a Stoney Creek councillor and former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister. About 57 per cent indicated familiarity with McHattie, a longtime Ward 1 councillor.

Fully 20 per cent of respondents listed taxes as the most important campaign issue, followed by leadership at 16 per cent, economic development at 15 per cent, transit at 13 per cent and poverty at 12 per cent.

The poll was conducted free of charge for the Spectator on Sept. 25 via interactive voice response. The margin of error is 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Hamilton election issues by The Hamilton Spectator

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