There are still eight left months to go, but if the latest poll results have any indication of how this October’s municipal election will go, it’s likely we could have a new mayor by the end of the year.

Results released Friday by Corporate Research Associates show former Liberal MP and mayoral candidate Mike Savage has 53% of voter support, while incumbent Mayor Peter Kelly’s support has slipped to just 25%. Results from CRA’s previous poll in November had Savage in the lead by only four percentage points.

CRA President and CEO Don Mills believes a number of factors have put Savage so far ahead of Kelly.

“There are a lot of people who are looking for a change,” Mills says. “With Mike (Savage) declaring, I think that gave people a boost in terms of optimism. And of course, that’s countered by difficulties that the mayor (Peter Kelly) has had over the past year especially.”

Mills is referring to the ‘cash for concerts’ scandal, the Occupy NS eviction and now, the transit strike.

While this latest poll suggests Savage would beat Kelly if the election were today, Mills says its hard to determine how these early finding will actually reflect the results at the polls in October.

“If we ask people if they intend to vote, the vast majority say they intend to vote,” he says. “But when it comes to actually voting, they actually don’t fulfill those intentions for a variety of reasons.”

Results for the poll were gathered between February 6th and 16th. During the same time frame, CRA also asked HRM resident for their thoughts about the ongoing Metro Transit strike.

When asked whose side they’re on, 38% of respondents said Metro Transit Management while 25% said the Union Members.

Another part of the transit poll asked participants if they thought transit should be designated an essential service. An overwhelming 65% of respondents said yes.

View Mayor poll

View Transit poll