‘Unusually low’: New survey shows decline in Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s early approval rating

A new survey by ThinkHQ Public Affairs suggests a majority of Calgarians don’t approve of Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s performance to date.

According to the survey, just 38 per cent say they approve of Gondek’s performance since taking office five months ago, while 53 per cent say they disapprove.

Nine per cent of respondents say they are unsure of how they feel about her performance as mayor thus far.

Such low approval ratings stand out as an anomaly compared to previous ratings of Calgary mayors and there is generally a ‘honeymoon phase’ for elected officials in the first few months after assuming their role.

In the early days of Dave Bronconnier’s tenure as mayor of Calgary, 75 per cent of Calgarians said they approved of the work he had done.

Naheed Nenshi saw staggering support with 86 per cent approval early in his first term as the city’s mayor.

“The first five months of Gondek’s administration have been eventful, but perhaps not in the way a new mayor would want,” said ThinkHQ Public Affairs’ president Marc Henry.

“The arena deal fell apart with the Flames, protests in the beltline, a (nearly) four per cent tax increase when it was supposed to be zero, etc. There are certainly circumstances outside of the mayor’s control, but others are entirely of her own making.”

In the 2021 muncipal election, Gondek received slightly more than 45 per cent of the 390,383 votes cast for mayor.

Individual city councillors received roughly 45 per cent support from their constituents, while 31 per cent disapprove and 24 per cent of voters are unsure about the work that has been done.

“It’s also unusual for councillors to have better approval ratings than the mayor, particularly with a council where two-thirds are newcomers,” said Henry. “This could be a challenge for Gondek going forward.”

The online survey was conducted between March 14 – 21 and heard from 1,101 Calgarians from a random stratified sample of panelists. ThinkHQ says the survey has a 2.9 per cent margin of error 19 times out of 20.

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