We have a frontrunner. At least that’s what Edify readers told us.
According to our very, very, very advance poll ahead of the 2021 municipal election, Kim Krushell is our readers’ early choice for mayor. She looks to be the one to beat. Krushell, who sat on City Council from 2004-13, was the choice of 39 per cent of respondents in our mayoral poll, which ran over the previous five days.
While 39 per cent does not represent anything close to the 70-plus per cent of the popular vote Mayor Don Iveson received in the 2017 municipal election, the early returns show that Krushell has a double-digit lead over the second-place runner, Cheryll Watson (25 per cent).
Watson, the former vice-president of Innovate Edmonton and co-founder of the Alberta Innovation Corridor, is the clear challenger. She was a featured speaker at this magazine’s first annual innovation event back in 2019.
Mike Nickel, who is building a campaign based on accountability, did not resonate with our respondents, earning just, gulp, three per cent of support. Not only is that far behind the two declared frontrunners, it pales in comparison to some hypotheticals, too. Compare Nickel’s share to the number of respondents who said they would support former city councillor and Liberal cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi if he decides to run (16 per cent). And 10 per cent indicated they would vote for Iveson if he changed his mind about running again; Iveson has announced he will not seek a third term in the mayor’s chair.
What’s surprising is that, so early on, there already looks to be clear separation at the top — is there another candidate in the wings who can prevent this from being a Krushell-Watson race? Can any of the other candidates make inroads?
Or, are our readers outliers? It should be noted that when we asked readers in 2020 if they would be sending their kids back to school or not, the results were within one per cent of the return-to-school-versus-online-learning ratio that was announced by Edmonton Public Schools shortly thereafter. So, while every poll needs to be taken with a grain of salt, we’ve been accurate in the past.