Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in last place for local approval in national poll

In a national poll, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson ended up with an approval rating of 50 per cent — the worst of the bunch.

45 per cent of Vancouver respondents disapproved of the way Robertson 'is handling' position

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson came out at the bottom of the pile in a recent poll ranking approval ratings of big-city mayors. (Carlos Tischler/REX/Shutterstock)

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's approval rating is the lowest out of nearly a dozen Canadian mayors, according to a new poll.

Earlier this month, Mainstreet Research asked Canadians living in 10 major cities to rate how they think their mayor handles his job, ranging from "strongly approve" to "strongly disapprove."

Robertson ended up with an approval rating of 50 per cent — the worst of the bunch.

A total of 45 per cent disapproved of the mayor, although they split in just how much. Another five per cent said they weren't sure how they felt.

In comparison, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson led the poll with a 79 per cent approval rating.

However, those who did approve of Robertson were enthusiastic: he garnered more "strong" approval scores than any other mayor.

David Valentin, vice president of Mainstreet Research, called the polarization "interesting."

"We're seeing quite a different photo for Mayor Robertson than we are for the others," he told CBC News. "People either really like the mayor, or they disapprove in some way shape or form."

Mainstreet contacted 614 Vancouverites on Jan. 3 and 4, by either landline or cellphone. The margin of error ranged between plus or minus four per cent, 19 times out of 20. Similar sized surveys were conducted in the other cities in the national poll.

Robertson was noticeably absent during a historic cold snap in December. (Farrah Merali/CBC)

The poll follows heavy criticism against the City of Vancouver for its handling of a record-breaking cold spell this winter. As snow and ice piled up, many side streets and sidewalks weren't salted or sanded and garbage pick up was delayed.  

Robertson was noticeably absent as residents demanded action from city hall and opposing councillors called for an inquiry. At the time CBC News reached out to the mayor's office for interviews and was told he was unavailable.

Robertson first took office in 2008 and was re-elected for a third term in late 2014. Vancouver's next municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 20, 2018.

Valentin said Robertson might have to make up some ground if he runs for a fourth term.

"If you're seeking re-election ... 50 per cent is not a great place to be."

With files from Farrah Merali