Undecided voters focus of final election push
Published Saturday, October 23, 2010 6:45PM EDT
With just two days to go before the Toronto municipal election, a large contingent of potential voters still sit on the fence about who they want to cast their vote for.
Nearly 20 per cent of voters say they can't decide who will get their vote. But that 20 per cent could decide the outcome of a very tight race.
The latest mayoral poll, released by Ekos, puts Rob Ford eight points ahead of rival George Smitherman. The two front-runners have also recently been counted in a statistical tie, meaning it could be up to potential last-minute reaffirmations or changes of heart to determine the outcome.
"I haven't decided yet. I am going to wait until the very last minute," said Aiden Foster while shopping at the St. Lawrence Market on Saturday.
"It is very difficult to choose between these candidates because it is a choice between a rock and hard place," added another undecided voter.
A poll commissioned by CTV, CP24 and The Globe and Mail found that 18.5 per cent of people very likely to vote are still undecided about who they will vote for.
Of those, 28.6 per cent plan to decide on Election Day, while 13 per cent more said they'll wait until they step in the voting booth.
But Nelson Wiseman, a University of Toronto political science professor, said it is unlikely the election will be decided by those who still haven't made up their mind.
"The undecided have an impact, but it is a marginal one. In a very tight race they could tip it, but I don't see the evidence that that has happened so far, and I don't know why I should assume that is going to happen in the next 48 hours," he told CTV News.
Some other voters face an even tougher type of indecision. Paige Lilley told CTV News that she knew who she wanted to vote for, but calls for strategic voting have left her confused about what to do.
Lilley said she supports third-running Joe Pantalone, but fears voting with her heart could mean a wasted ballot.
"I'd like to show my support for him, but because the other two are so close I feel like my one vote could really make a difference. I'm undecided as to whether or not I'd like to make that difference," she said.
Meantime, the three candidates continued to campaign on Saturday, attempting to shore up those undecided voters at the end of a very gruelling campaign.
While campaigning in the Beaches neighbourhood, Pantalone said he was expecting it all to be worth it on Monday, Election Day.
"I think there is going to be a lot of surprise on Monday. I think people are going to be voting for hope and vision on Monday, not the fear which others are spreading," he said.
Elsewhere, Smitherman joined a road hockey game in the streets of Etobicoke, claiming he had plenty of energy left.
"You want to be the mayor of a city with a lot of energy, you've got to have it," he said after putting some shifts in against young competitors.
Front-running Rob Ford smiled off the idea that the length of the campaign was getting to him as he paused briefly during a busy Saturday.
"It has been a long campaign. But we started strong and we are going to end strong. You just gotta keep going."
With reports from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney and Alicia Markson