There are a lot of issues taking up the national discussion this election including the COVID-19 pandemic, housing affordability, and the ongoing struggle for Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Guelphites probably have some concerns about those issues too, but apparently, the vast majority of us are the most concerned about one thing above all others: climate change.
In a Mainstreet poll of Guelph voters provided by Our Energy Guelph, 27 per cent of respondents said that climate change is the most important issue for electors in determining their vote this time. Healthcare was number two at 21 per cent, the pandemic response and jobs & economy were tied for third at 18 per cent, the Federal deficit was fourth, and reconciliation was in the last spot at 5 per cent. People between the ages of 35-39 were the most likely to rank climate change as their number one issue at 34 per cent.
And if climate change was not *the* most important issue, it was still important enough for 73 per cent of respondents in the survey to say that Guelph should be a leader in responding to climate change, including over 80 per cent of people between 35 and 39, and over 76 per cent of young people between 18 and 34. Only 60.5 per cent of the people between the ages of 50 and 64 believed that Guelph should be a leader on fighting climate change.
In terms of which party has the best plan to fight climate change, a surprisingly meek 9 per cent of respondents believed it was the Green Party. The Liberals led this questions at 36 per cent, followed by “Not Sure” with 22 per cent, the Conservatives with 17 per cent, and the NDP with 13 per cent. Seven-out-of-10 voters told Mainstreet that they’ve already made their minds up about what party they’re going to vote for, and 98 per cent said that they were planning to cast a vote on September 20.
The poll was conducted between September 3 and 5, and a sample of 599 people participated using automated phone interviews, landlines and cell phones. The survey has a margin for error of plus or minus 4 per cent.
In the most recent national polls, only Mainstreet puts the Liberals in first place barely one per cent ahead of the Conservatives. Both EKOS and Nanos put the Conservatives in first place with between 33.2 and 33.3 per cent, two or three per cent ahead of the Liberals depending on the poll. According to 338 Canada, Guelph is very likely to remain a Liberal riding, with Liberal incumbent Lloyd Longfield projected to win.