October 16, 2018

What the Tea Leaves Told Me — 2018 Vancouver Civic Election


Poll-topper Kennedy Stewart, Vancouver mayoral candidate for the 2018 civic election, has gone public with a stronger message.

I’m hoping that it’s the result of a few squadrons of analytical minds chewing away at internal polling and, well, reading the tea leaves. He certainly seems to be more confident of the potential number of voters receptive to this message.

See the poll and related material below.

The poll is from Mario Canseco’s Research Co., with 33% undecided:

  • Stewart – 36%
  • Sim – 23%
  • Sylvester – 19%
  • Bremner – 6%
  • Young – 6%
  • Chen – 2%
  • Harding – 2%

Perhaps buoyed by his continued top-of-poll position, Mr. Stewart has said (in the Globe and Mail, thanks to Frances Bula):

Vancouver mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart says he would push for denser forms of housing in all city neighbourhoods, and would ensure any reluctant residents understood why the city must move ahead with the plan anyway . . . .

“It is a crisis, right, and you can’t just keep doing the same thing,” said Mr. Stewart, a former NDP MP who is reported to be a front-runner because of a series of polls.  . . .

Mr. Stewart said he believes that west-side neighbourhoods, which have been resistant to even modest forms of density such as townhouses on side streets or six-storey apartment buildings, are ready to accept more.

“Communities are essentially hollowing out there. Some neighbourhoods are saying, ‘We want this,’” Mr. Stewart said. “Some coffee shops on the west side are now closing a couple of days a week [because they can’t get servers who can afford to live nearby].”

He noted that even business improvement associations, which aren’t always huge supporters of the NDP or social housing, have talked to him about how much their communities need affordable housing for service workers.

As well, he stressed that denser housing needs to be spread out over the city, instead of being concentrated in just a few areas.

Perhaps Mr. Stewart has been influenced by this data, presented in graphic form by occasional PT contributor Andy Yan (the Duke of Data).

Data compiled by Andy Yan, director of SFU’s City Program, shows Shaughnessy and other West Side neighbourhoods have lost voters since 2006. Image courtesy Andy Yan.

Overall, the city’s population is up by 10%, but the traditional NPA strongholds have lost population – a.k.a. “hollowing out”.


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