Following attacks & decision to withdraw from candidate events polls show early frontrunner Carolyn Parrish now in very close Mississauga mayoral race
Feature Images Alexis Wright/The Pointer

Following attacks & decision to withdraw from candidate events polls show early frontrunner Carolyn Parrish now in very close Mississauga mayoral race

The final days of an election sometimes decide the winner and the latest polls show that could be the case in Mississauga’s mayoral race.

Ahead of Monday’s election (June 10th), the last polling data by Liaison Strategies and Mainstreet Research show the contest is gridlocked with Carolyn Parrish, Dipika Damerla, Alvin Tedjo and Stephen Dasko all in a tight race. 

The survey conducted by Liaison Strategies, commissioned by the National Ethnic Press and Media Council, shows Parrish, who enjoyed a comfortable double-digit lead a few weeks ago, is now one-point ahead of her nearest competitors, Damerla and Tedjo, among decided voters. Parrish’s support now sits at 24 percent, down 5 points from what was reported in Liaison’s previous poll, while Damerla and Tedjo both have 23 percent support among decided voters. 


Rookie Mississauga Ward 2 Councillor Alvin Tedjo, who did not have much name recognition during the campaign, has steadily made gains. His promise of a two-year tax freeze has been criticized as reckless vote pandering, but it appears to be working.

(Alexis Wright/The Pointer) 


According to the latest poll, Dasko sits in fourth among candidates included in the survey with 18 percent support, up 6 points from the previous sample. Brian Crombie is at 5 percent, down from 9; among decided voters, seven percent of residents polled indicated they would vote for someone else. 

The latest and final survey ahead of the election conducted by Mainstreet Research shows a similar narrative. Recent polling by the firm, commissioned by the Y Media Group, shows Parrish remains the front runner, but similar to the Liaison data, her lead has narrowed to one point ahead of Damerla. Parrish’s support now sits at 21 percent among decided and leaning voters, according to the poll, with Damerla at 20 percent. Dasko is in third with 18 percent support and Tedjo is at 17. Crombie was also included but has proven to be ineffective, with just 4 percent support. 

It's a dramatic shift from early polling data that indicated Parrish held a strong lead. The first survey released by Liaison Strategies in January showed Parrish had the support of 35 percent of residents who responded and identified as decided voters. Damerla followed with 24 percent support.

An April poll by Mainstreet showed Parrish had a 15 percent lead over Damerla among all voters, at the time.

At the beginning of May, Liaison’s most recent survey had Parrish 17 points ahead of Damerla among decided voters.


Former Mississauga MP and Ward 5 councillor Carolyn Parrish has seen an early comfortable lead largely evaporate according to two recent polls.

(Supplied photo)


Around the same time, opponents began aggressively attacking Parrish, and some edited her comments from an early candidate event, misleading voters about remarks Parrish had made regarding refugees. The Pointer was one of few media outlets that attended the event and subsequently published the full remarks by Parrish in response to a question, which show her comments were twisted to suggest the opposite of what she had said, and then amplified by media not present at the event. 

The dramatic drop since then could be a result of Parrish’s absence from candidate events when she made the decision to step away from them to avoid further attacks, which she said resulted in threats against her, a Mississauga councillor and her campaign team members. 

She has since been criticized by Toronto-based media outlets that have focused on her absence.

Parrish recently told The Pointer that many of the candidate events scheduled late conflicted with previous commitments she had already made to resident groups and community organizations. She did, however, reiterate that the threats following negative campaign tactics by opponents were the main reason she stepped away from candidate events.

In response to criticism about the inability of voters to ask her questions and hear from her directly to hold her accountable to the platform she has presented, Parrish said she continues to hold numerous events and smaller meetings with residents’ groups and community organizations.

If she loses, this approach could be the main reason, after enjoying a comfortable lead early on. 



Ward 7 Councillor Dipika Damerla is promising to try to scrap the already approved Bloor Street bike lane project if she is elected mayor.

(Alexis Wright/The Pointer).  


After abysmal voter turnout in recent elections, it could be a critical factor in determining who Mississauga’s next mayor will be. The first weekend of advanced polling saw a significant increase, according to a press release from the City of Mississauga. It reported a 42 percent jump compared to the first three days of advance polling in the 2022 municipal election, which saw near historic lows with just over 20 percent of residents coming out to the polls (no data was provided for the second weekend of advanced polling in 2022). Official results from the City of Mississauga’s 2022 municipal election revealed that of the 491,260 registered voters across the city, only 107,310 ballots were cast, a mere 21.8 percent, the lowest turnout since the 2003 election, when only 19.99 percent of eligible voters bothered to participate. It was also a decline from 2018 when only 26.4 percent of eligible voters came to the polls. 

Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko has enjoyed a steady rise in polls that suggest he is a popular choice among voters concerned about the local economy and small businesses.

(Alexis Wright/The Pointer)


The first two days of advance polling about two weeks ago at City Hall, were followed by even wider advance polling over two days a week later. If turnout was heavy, that could help Parrish, as some of the negative coverage and attacks by opponents might not have had as much influence over those who made their decision earlier. 

Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko is one of the candidates who has seen his numbers increase since the attacks against Parrish and her subsequent decision to withdraw from certain events. 

His climb has made it a four-person race, just days before the remaining votes are cast on Monday, in what could be the closest mayoral race Mississauga has ever seen. 

Bonnie Crombie won in a landslide in 2022 and for more than three decades Hazel McCallion’s popularity rendered mayoral elections in the city into little more than publicity tours. 

This time, residents have a real choice to make, among four candidates vying to lead the country’s seventh largest city into the future at a critical time.

From the way it grows, the big city features that will be prioritized, to how people will move, critical affordability and housing strategies, and how climate change will be addressed, there has never been more at stake for Mississauga residents.  

To help make the decision The Pointer has published a series on the “Big Five Issues”. 



Crime & Safety






Climate & Sustainability


City Finances



Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @mcpaigepeacock

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