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Karen Redman Leads in Waterloo Region Chair Race

According to a survey of 530 Waterloo Region respondents conducted on October 16 and 17, 2018, by Anthony Piscitelli of  Karen Redman has a large lead in the race for Waterloo Region Chair but 37% of voters remain undecided.

Undecided Voters 37%
Decided and leaning Voters 55%
Prefer Not to Answer 9%

The race for Waterloo Region Chair is between four candidates: Jay Aissa, Karen Redman, Jan D’Ailly, and Rob Deutschmann. Before this survey, there was no public polling data available to indicate the popularity of any of these candidates.

Amongst respondents who indicated a preference Karen Redman (67%) is in first, Rob Deutschmann (18%) is in second, Jay Aissa (9%) is in third, and Jan d’Ailly (7%) is in fourth (note results do not add up to 100 due to rounding).

Candidate Decided Voters
Jay Aissa 9%
Jan d”Ailly 7%
Rob Deutschmann 18%
Karen Redman 67%

The survey also asked respondents what is the most important issue to them in this election. Keeping taxes low (23%), improving housing affordability (22%) and increasing social services (16%) were the top three answers.

Issue Support
Keeping taxes low 23%
Improving housing affordability 22%
Increasing social services 17%
Lowering crime 7%
Improving public transit 6%
Building more roads 3%
Improving cycling infrastructure 3%
Something else 10%

Candidate Comparisons

When comparing support for the candidates by gender, statistically significant differences in support were discovered. Karen Redman was the most popular candidate among males and females but her support was stronger among females (79%) than males (58%). Jay Aissa showed the largest discrepancy in support with males (14%) much more supportive than females (1%).

Sample (n) Jay Aissa Jan D’Ailly Rob Deutschmann Karen Redman
Female 144 1% 4% 15% 79%
Male 151 14% 8% 21% 58%

Comparing support for candidates to support for the top three issues also revealed statistically significant differences. Once again, Karen Redman remains the most popular candidate when looking at all issues. However, her support is higher for those who also support increasing social services (84%) and improving housing affordability (71%) than for those who support keeping taxes low (46%).  Those who support keeping taxes low gave more support proportionally to Rob Deutchman (27%) and Jay Aissa (20%). Jan d’Ailly’s support was consistent across all three categories (7%).

Sample (n) Jay Aissa Jan d’Ailly Rob Deutschmann Karen Redman
Keeping Taxes Low 71 20% 7% 27% 46%
Improving Housing Affordability 76 5% 7% 17% 71%
Increasing Social Services 55 0% 7% 9% 84%
Other 85 7% 5% 19% 70%

The results also show statistically significant difference between likely and unlikely voters. A likely voters model was created by combining those who said yes or not eligible to the question asking “Did you vote in the 2014 municipal election” with those who also indicated they were certain or likely to vote on the question asking how “On election day are you certain to vote, likely, unlikely, or certain not to vote”. Not surprisingly unlikely voters were much more likely to be uncertain of who they would support. A separate comparison removing those who were uncertain did not reveal statistically significant differences in levels of support between unlikely and likely voters.

Sample (n) Jay Aissa Jan d’Ailly Rob Deutschmann Karen Redman Uncertain
Unlikely Voter 214 2% 3% 7% 18% 69%
Likely Voter 312 6% 3% 10% 46% 35%

The results showed no statistically significant differences for candidate support by age or by city/township.

Sample (n) Jay Aissa Jan D’Ailly Rob Deutschmann Karen Redman
18 to 34 57 7% 7% 23% 63%
35 to 49 73 11% 11% 19% 59%
50 to 64 99 9% 4% 22% 65%
65 plus 77 6% 8% 9% 77%
Sample (n) Jay Aissa Jan D’Ailly Rob Deutschmann Karen Redman
Cambridge 57 7% 7% 23% 63%
Kitchener 150 9% 5% 16% 69%
Waterloo 67 9% 7% 16% 67%
Township 38 8% 11% 21% 61%

Issue Comparisons

The top three issues for respondents was also compared on age, gender, and cities/townships. There were no statistically significant differences amongst age groups or cities/townships with respect to the priority of different issues. However, gender showed statistically significant differences (at the 0.05 level). Keeping taxes low was the top issue for males while improving housing affordability and increasing social services were higher priorities for females.

Sample (n) Keeping Taxes Low Improving Housing Affordability Increasing Social Services Other
Female 235 18% 28% 21% 32%
Male 217 33% 21% 13% 33%

Survey Details

The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) survey was conducted by Professor Anthony Piscitelli with assistance from students in the Conestoga College Public Service Program. On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, students in the program participated in a workshop to learn about IVR surveys. The students then completed tasks such as creating the phone list, recording the survey, and gathering demographic data to build the survey weights. The survey was crowd funded by Craig Radcliffe in an attempt to understand the dynamics of the chair race and to bring more attention to the importance of this election.

Sampling Approach

The sample was created by randomly selecting Waterloo Region landlines as listed in a digital phone book. A sample of likely cellphone numbers was added by randomly selecting phone numbers that according to the Canadian Numbering Administrator were originally assigned to Waterloo Region. Sampling error exists as a result of this approach due to the mismatch created by the random dialling of phone numbers as opposed to randomly sampling actual Waterloo Region residents.

Response rate

The survey had a contact rate of 15%, indicating that of the 230,228 live lines that were called 35,681were answered by live potential respondents. The response rate was 0.23%, which is based on 530 respondents who completed the entire survey. The third question, which asked about candidate preferences, was answered by 585 respondents. All respondents who answered the first three questions were included in the results. It is worth noting that 13% of respondents were not eligible to participate due to being under 18 or not living in Waterloo Region.


Results of this survey have been weighted by age, gender, and city/township according to the 2016 census. The full weights are posted along with the raw data on and can be found by visiting:

Margin of Error

Results are considered accurate +/-4.25%, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error on subsamples is higher.

Raw Data

Raw survey data is available on The data can be found at:


The survey results will exhibit sampling error as a result of the mismatch created by the random dialling of phone numbers as opposed to randomly sampling actual Waterloo Region residents. These results also represent a snapshot in time and may not be indicative of the final election results. This survey was approved by the Conestoga College Research Ethics Board.

*Data updated on October 21, 2018 to correct undecided voters table totals


Political junkies, like me, enjoyed reading on an almost daily basis from 2008 to 2017. Éric Grenier’s work continues, but I have missed the small community of commentators from his blog (even though I was mostly a lurker).

My new role as Professor has provided me with the time and resources to create this blog as a homage to I plan to continue the tradition of following the political horse race polls conducted by Canadian pollsters. I recognize Grenier continues to do this, as does LISPOP during election time, so I am planning a slightly different approach.

To track support for political parties I will be using an algorithm to aggregate survey results. The basic idea is that by comparing the differences between surveys overtime to one another a trend line can be created. So, instead of weighting the pollsters on accuracy or trying to ascertain if some polling firms have a bias; this approach uses the differences between the polls themselves and the sample sizes to show party support levels. If it sounds complicated do not worry, it is not hard to understand in practice. A future blog post will explore how this approach tracks public opinion shifts in the 2015 Federal Election, as an example.

This blog will also spend time tracking public opinion on issues over time in Canada. These posts will go beyond the comparison of party support levels and delve into the perception of policy issues themselves. I also plan to include some discussions of policy issues facing all levels of government in Canada. When I can swing the funding, I will even include a few privately conducted public opinion polls as well.

I will be the editor of this website and the author of many of the posts. The work of my students in the Conestoga College Public Service program will also be featured. Even when I write the post, it will be these students doing a lot of the background work to find the different polls and pull them into a usable format. In hopes that others will find the tracking of the polls useful; we will also be sharing this data.

If you are interested in Canadian policy, involved in policy making, fascinated by public opinion, or just a fellow political junkie I hope you will become a regular visitor to If you would like to discuss any of the articles with me I can be reached on Twitter or through the contact form or by simply posting a reply to any blog post.