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Winning candidate could have ‘very small portion’ of popular vote: political scientist

We look at what to expect from candidates in the final few days and whether Winnipeggers will be voting on election day. Alex Karpa reports.

By Alex Karpa

A political science professor expects the winning candidate in Wednesday’s municipal election to win with a small proportion of the vote.

Aaron Moore, with the University of Winnipeg, says it’s the likely scenario when there are 11 candidates vying for the city’s top job.

That’s why Moore says it’s especially true this year that every vote counts.

“We could see a candidate winning with a very small portion of the popular vote,” he said. “I suspect that most likely it will be Glen Murray or Scott Gillingham, but I wouldn’t rule out some of the candidates who were third and fourth in those polls. It’s really hard to tell (the outcome) when you have so many people that they are undecided.”


Nearly 42,000 voters headed to the polls for advance voting ahead of Wednesday’s election, which is up over five per cent from the previous election in 2018.

“Typically in a scenario like this, we would see higher turnout, but the number of candidates might have an impact on that,” said Moore.

Lower turnouts in municipal elections

Historically, municipal elections don’t see as many voters as provincial or federal elections.

In 2014, voter turnout was just over 50 per cent when Brian Bowman won his first term in office. But when he ran again in 2018, there was only 42 per cent voter turnout – the lowest for Winnipeg since 2006.

Moore says he does expect a higher turnout this election, but says people find municipal politics the least interesting.

“We have to do a better job of educating the public about what different levels of government do,” he said. “We see a lot of times people looked agitated to see change and are focusing on the wrong levels of government. A lot of people don’t understand that on a day-to-day basis, you interact far more with municipalities than with senior levels of government.”

CityNews hit the streets to see if Winnipeggers planned to vote Wednesday.

“I don’t know, I just need to become more educated before I decide. If my high school educated me more on what the parties mean, then I probably would (vote).”

“I think it is important to have your say in who is going to be the next mayor in Winnipeg, the city councillors, as well as the school trustees.”

“I’m not sure if I am going to vote yet. I’m going to look into who is running and if it is something I like that’s going around, I might vote and see if it gets heard or not.”

“A promise that Winnipeg is going to be this happy-go-lucky place is not realistic. There is a lot of infrastructure that needs to be done before that.”

“To vote is to have an opinion and to be part of the change.”

“It’s really important because as I say, nothing touches everyday lives more than municipal government.”

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