As British Columbia prepares for a unique electoral campaign in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the governing New Democratic Party (NDP) is in first place, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 44% of decided voters in British Columbia would support the BC NDP candidate in their constituency in the election scheduled for October 24. The BC NDP has gained three points since a similar Research Co. survey was conducted in May.
The BC Liberals are in second place with 37% (+4), followed by the BC Green Party with 13% (-3) and the BC Conservative Party with 4% (-5).
The BC NDP holds a 12-point lead among decided female voters (47% to 35%). The race is significantly closer among decided male voters (41% for the BC NDP and 39% for the BC Liberals).
The BC Liberals are six-points ahead of the BC NDP in Southern BC (43% to 37%).
The BC Green Party has its best numbers among decided voters aged 18 to 34 (22%, with the BC NDP at 38%) and in Vancouver Island (22%, with the BC NDP at 50%).
Two thirds of British Columbians (67%, -6) approve of the way Premier and BC NDP leader John Horgan is handling his duties, while one-in-four (25%, +7) disapprove.
Since May, the approval rating for BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson dropped by nine points to 39%. Recently selected BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau holds similar numbers (37%), while the rating is significantly lower for BC Conservative Party leader Trevor Bolin (23%, -12).
When likely voters are asked who would make the best premier of British Columbia, more than two-in-five (44%) select Horgan, while 27% choose Wilkinson. Furstenau and Bolin are in single digits (7% and 2%, respectively) and 21% are undecided.
More than one-in-four likely voters (26%, -2) think healthcare is the most important issue facing the province. Housing, poverty and homelessness is a close second at 24% (+7), followed by the economy and jobs (21%, =), COVID-19 (11%, -10), crime and public safety (8%, +6) and the environment (7%, +3), according to the poll results.
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“At the start of the provincial campaign, the most pressing concerns of voters in British Columbia vary greatly depending on age,” said Research Co. President Mario Canseco in a release. “Housing, poverty and homelessness is especially important for those aged 18-to-34 (29%), while the economy and jobs is top of mind for those aged 35-to-54 (26%) and health care is paramount for those aged 55 and over (29%).”
Research Co. said the results of this survey are based on an online study conducted from September 21 to September 23, 2020, among 750 likely voters in British Columbia, and has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures.
Voting day is October 24.