Gregor Robertson holds off Kirk LaPointe to win tough battle in Vancouver

November 17, 2014

Proud to have once again been the pollster and one of strategists for Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver’s third win as Mayor of Vancouver.   It was harder this time, and we needed a great campaign to do it. Below some articles about the campaign, and Vision:

Gregor Robertson secured his third term as Vancouver’s mayor in a decisive victory

Mayor Gregor Robertson overcame adversity in the toughest campaign of his career to win a third term at Vancouver City Hall.

It was a gruelling fight for Robertson, who held off surging NPA challenger Kirk LaPointe but lost one Vision seat on council, with a Green and three NPA councillors topping the polls. With only mail-in votes left to count, Robertson, who had about 54 per cent of the vote in the prior two elections, had 83,281 votes and LaPointe trailed with 72,966.

“I am so humbled and honoured to have been re-elected as your mayor,” Robertson said in his victory speech. “We have a wider diversity of opinions at council … We will continue to build a green, inclusive city. There are things we can do better.”

Vision’s Tony Tang, who was first elected in 2011, was defeated, and Geoff Meggs won the 10th spot in a tight race with the NPA’s Ian Robertson. The NPA looked set to gain one seat on council with Vision retaining a reduced majority. NPA Couns. George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball were in the top three of councillors in polls, joined by Melissa De Genova in fourth place.

Vision lost control of the parks board, whose seven commissioners now include four from the NPA. Vision and NPA secured four seats each on the school board, where Green trustee Janet Fraser will hold the balance of power.

Viewed as a long shot at the start of the campaign, LaPointe worked his way up through the polls from a double-digit deficit to just a four-point spread with one week to go.

At 11 p.m., LaPointe appeared before supporters to offer a concession speech and congratulations to Robertson.

“It was a great, hard-fought campaign,” LaPointe said. “Our city appears stronger (with) three NPA members on council. There are brighter days ahead for the NPA.”

Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr topped the polls, butfellow candidates Pete Fry, a graphic designer, and Cleta Brown, a lawyer, failed to earn a spot.

“I think people are unhappy. That’s why you get more people out to vote,” said Carr of the large voter turnout Saturday and lack of Vision councillors atop the council polls. “I think they want to see public interest at their councillor’s top of mind.”

Robertson — who has been criticized for arrogance in pressing Vision’s green agenda and turning a deaf ear to opponents of neighbourhood densification — offered a stunning mea culpa to Vancouver citizens Wednesday in a humbling move that may have saved the election for Vision Vancouver.

Arguably, with a desire for change seen in pre-election polls in Vancouver, the NPA could have won what campaigners call the “air war” — messages in ads, and political discussions across the city. Both parties raised over $2 million in campaign donations. But Vision was widely seen as a having the bigger, better organized and more tech-savvy electoral machine on the ground, and apparently beat the NPA in the nitty-gritty work of cultivating voter lists and getting supporters to the polls Saturday.

Throughout the campaign Robertson and Vision colleagues argued that LaPointe was politically inexperienced, and an NPA-controlled city hall would roll back Vision’s progress on making Vancouver the “greenest city” by 2020. Robertson, helped by environmental activist and vote-organizing groups, also strongly advocated his opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline. But in the end, the message that seemed to put Robertson over the top was that an experienced Vision council and a mayor now willing to listen to criticism was a safer choice than LaPointe and the NPA. The NPA promised change but lacked detailed plans of how to govern.

Robertson’s bid for re-election got off to a rough start in July, when rumours circulated about problems in his marriage. Over the past six years, at his best, he has come across as an earnest politician, rather than a high-energy one. But from the day in July when Robertson stood in front of reporters outside council chambers and rejected rumours about his personal life, it seemed that his energy for the job was at an all-time low.

However, with a late apology to voters and a rejigged positive campaign — TV ads had Robertson saying he would be “honoured” to be re-elected — the mayor regained enough of his stride to cross the line ahead of LaPointe

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