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Crime remains the most important issue for residents, but there is a large proportion of undecided and unengaged voters.

Vancouver, BC – Safe Surrey Coalition mayoral candidate Doug McCallum holds the upper hand over Surrey First contender Linda Hepner and independent Barinder Rasode with five weeks to go in the Surrey mayoral campaign, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Surrey residents, 55% of respondents say crime is the most important issue facing the city—a 10-point increase since a survey conducted by Insights West in July. Transportation is a distant second at 14%, followed by economic development (9%) and poverty (6%).

Only 9% of Surrey residents say they are following the electoral campaign “very closely” and a further 42% are doing so “moderately closely.” Half of Surrey residents (49%) are either following the campaign “not too closely” or “not closely at all.”

Practically half of Surrey residents (48%) are undecided at this stage of the municipal campaign. Among those who selected a candidate, Doug McCallum is in first place with 40%, followed by Linda Hepner with 32%, Barinder Rasode with 21%, John Edwards with 7% and Vikram Bajwa with 1%.

Among decided voters, McCallum’s support is highest among male residents (46%), people aged 18-to-34 (42%) and those aged 35-to-54 (41%), while Hepner holds the lead among women (36%) and those aged 55 and over (41%).

“There are many residents of Surrey who have not been immersed in the mayoral campaign,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The candidates need to establish a meaningful connection with the high number of residents who plan to vote, but have not settled on anyone yet.”

When asked which one of the three main mayoral candidates would be the best person to handle specific matters, McCallum holds a slight edge on six issues: city finances and taxation (18%), economic development (18%), transportation (18%), crime (17%), development (17%) and housing (16%). Hepner is ahead on three issues: parks and recreation (17%), arts and culture (16%), and the environment (15%). McCallum and Hepner are tied on who would be the best candidate to deal with poverty (12%).


On the race for City Council, 38% of Surrey residents say they are likely to give at least one of their votes to Surrey First, while 36% would give at least one vote to the Safe Surrey Coalition. Three-in-ten residents (31%) are likely to support independent candidates.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has seventeen employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 3 to October 6, 2014, among 520 residents of the City of Surrey, British Columbia, who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Waferboard