It’s still early days in the campaign, but according to a new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll, there’s already a frontrunner in the upcoming byelection in the Saskatoon-Meewasin riding.
The NDP’s Ryan Meili is ahead of his nearest competitor by 23 points, according to data from a survey conducted Monday.
“These are high numbers for the NDP,” said David Valentin, Executive Vice-President of Mainstreet
Research. “Meili is scoring higher here than in any of the previous match-ups we ran, with a 23 point margin separating him from Brent Penner of the Saskatchewan Party.”
Valentin noted that Meili’s lead is amplified by a high number of undecided voters under the age of 50, so there is still a fair amount of room for other candidates to gain support as the campaign continues.
In particular, he said there wasn’t enough data to be sure if Sask. Party support was truly plummeting among voters under 50, or if it was more likely to return to more traditional levels.
Even so, with Meili polling at a 46 per cent favourability rating, Valentin said he’s likely to be a tough candidate to beat. By comparison, 26 per cent of those surveyed said they have a favourable view of Penner.
Valentin said Penner faces a particular challenge on name recognition, with 58 per cent of those polled saying they either had no opinion of him or didn’t know who he was, with 36 per cent saying the same of Meili.
Mainstreet surveyed 530 Saskatoon-Meewasin voters at random for the poll, which has a margin of error of 4.14 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
The poll showed Liberal candidate Darrin Lamoureux and the Green Party’s Shawn Setyo each with four per cent support. The Mainstreet report did not include any mention of Progressive Conservative candidate David Prokopchuck.
Voters head to the polls on Mar. 2 to fill the seat left vacant when Sask. Party MLA Roger Parent died in Nov. 2016.