With the civic election just a few days away, two of Vancouver's mayoral candidates have made a direct plea to each other's voter bases.

"I take this opportunity to reach out in particular to COPE voters, that are thinking about voting COPE, that have voted COPE in the past, and I'm asking for their support this time," incumbent mayor and Vision Vancouver candidate Gregor Robertson said at the CBC's mayoral debate Wednesday.

"It's really important when it's between Vision and the NPA, that progressive voters ensure they vote for the progressive team that can win."

COPE Vancouver mayoral candidate Meena Wong struck back.

"Let me pitch to the Vision supporters. It's time to come home. Vote for your conscience," she said.

Former COPE councillor Ellen Woodsworth says Robertson's concerns over splitting the vote are well founded. She lost her seat to to the Green Party's Adriane Carr in 2011 by just 91 votes.

She told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff the appeal could work.


Former COPE councillor Ellen Woodsworth says socially progressive candidates need to form a coalition, to avoid splitting the vote. (Ellen Woodsworth)

"I think that people are very, very concerned about [NPA mayoral candidate] Kirk LaPointe," said Woodsworth, citing his policies on environment, housing and homelessness.

"People are talking about social issues more than they've ever talked, and people want answers."

Woodsworth says it's not just COPE that Robertson has to worry about, because, she says, left-leaning voters have several choices, including the Green Party and One City.

"There's a crisis for so many people in this city, that people are looking for other vehicles to move the agenda forward faster to address those crises." 

Woodsworth believes a coalition between left-leaning platforms is the solution to get a socially progressive voice elected. She says it's too late for such a union in this race.

When asked if it's better to vote with a conscience, or to vote strategically, she replied, "Hopefully they're the same."

"I think the decision is between LaPointe and Gregor," she continued.

Woodsworth says her decision will get trickier when it comes to voting for council candidates.

"I think there's a lot of candidates out there that have similar politics," she said.

"I think the decision of who to vote for on council is confusing, and in that confusion, the vote gets split."

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