Just over 70 per cent of the 200 people at the Cairns Chamber of Commerce’s Mayoral debate completed a five question survey on the day, to provide information on the profile of the audience, their voting intentions and how they thought the candidates performed.
The first question asked audience members about their voting intentions was Val Schier who scored the highest with 32%, Margaret Cochrane and Bob Manning each had 21%. The remaining undecided accounted for 24%. Ian Thomas scored 1%.
The audience were polled to rate the quality of each candidate’s presentation. Val Schier scored the highest.
Of the 136 respondents, 2.2% changed their vote as a result of listening to the four candidates. One switched from Margaret Cochrane to Bob Manning; another went from Bob Manning to undecided and the third went from Val Schier to undecided.
The audience were also asked to highlight each candidate’s main strengths:-
- Local government experience and knowledge.
- Business experience, knowledge. His suit impressed with some commenting that he looked the part of a smart businessman.
- Track record, passion, presentation skills and vision.
- No single strength stood out; rather there was a range of strengths mentioned including his passion, his interesting take on things, and his desire to improve Council operations.
The Chamber survey also asked opinion on the main weaknesses of each candidate.
Margaret Cochrane’s lack of vision and lack of leadership skills were the most common responses. Bob Manning did not impress with his speaking / presentation skills and Val Schier’s track record was the most common response as her main weakness, along with talking too loudly. Ian Thomas was perceived to be ill-prepared, and off topic a number of times, and without a clear plan.