BC NDP's John Horgan wins debate, but BC Greens' Andrew Weaver wins crowd: poll

Apr 28 2017, 5:38 pm

When it came to the televised leaders debate this week, a new poll has found there was a winner and a crowd favourite – but they were not the same person.

The poll, conducted by Mainstreet Research for Postmedia and made available to Daily Hive, suggests voters who watched the BC Leaders Debate decided BC NDP Leader John Horgan won the night, but BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver was the crowd favourite.

“British Columbians like ‘Doctor Weaver’, as he was referred to repeatedly by Christy Clark in the debate, they just don’t think he has much of a chance to win,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research.

Weaver has a PhD in Applied Mathematics, so can use the honorific “Dr.” if he wants–although in the debate, he said he didn’t mind what he was called, Dr., Mr, or Andrew.

The approach of using titles to refer to a political opponent has been used in the past with some success, Magi added. “By referring to an opponent by their title instead of their given name or a more generic title like “Mr.”, it can create the impression that the individual is out of touch.”

This strategy may pay off eventually he said, but results of the post debate poll say most BC residents have a favourable view of Weaver, for now.

BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark had a “solid” performance in the debate, the poll found.

In total, 29% of the BC debate watchers polled believed Weaver won the debate and 50% have a favourable view of him, compared to just 26% who have an unfavourable view.

Horgan scored 37% favourable vs 42% unfavourable, and Christy Clark fared even worse with 34% favourable vs 54% unfavourable.

When asked about who would win the election however, opinion shifts dramatically, with just 6% saying the BC Greens will win. This is in stark contrast to the 40% of those polled who said BC Liberals would win and 35% who said it would be the NDP.

“Despite the highlight going to Weaver, it does not appear that any significant knock out blow took place in the televised debate,” Magi said.

“With less than two weeks remaining to election day, the battle between the governing BC Liberals and the opposition BC NDP continues.”

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