Former NDP leader Andrea Horwath has a comfortable lead in Hamilton's mayoral race, a Mainstreet poll suggests.
Horwath was a city councillor in Hamilton in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Keanin Loomis, a former CEO of the city's board of trade, is about eight points behind Horwath.
The poll shows Horwath's support is younger and more urban, while Loomis's is older, suburban and higher-income, Mainstreet analyst Robert Martin said.
"There's a suggestion here that maybe the wealthier kind of suburban voters are turning away from her, but Horwath is dominant with younger voters and voters with (a high school education), so basically she's going to be dominant in downtown Hamilton."
She hasn't formed a coalition beyond the NDP's base in the urban parts of the Hamilton megacity but doesn't really need to to win, Martin said.
Well behind is Bob Bratina, a former Hamilton mayor and Liberal MP, who is now 78.
Horwath resigned not only the NDP leadership but also her Hamilton Centre seat — shortly after being re-elected to it — after the party's 2022 election loss, but her voting base seems not to hold that against her.
"I think that in terms of voters in Hamilton that like her, I think they'd much rather she'd be serving as mayor than sitting in Toronto for four years, just kind of voicing displeasure at Doug Ford," Martin said.
"I think they'd much rather have her do that than basically be in opposition for years."
Incumbent mayor Fred Eisenberger, 70, isn't running again.
This Mainstreet Research poll was conducted on Oct. 13, 2022. A sample of 694 people was interviewed by automated telephone interviews. The poll is accurate to within ±3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Mainstreet Research is a shareholder in the ownership of iPolitics and QP Briefing.