A new public opinion poll has given top marks to BC Premier John Horgan.
In fact, according to the latest version of Insights West’s “Government of British Columbia Report Card,” the BC NDP has “improved their already strong approval ratings” and support across BC.
In a release, Insights West said the provincial government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic “has apparently resulted in a massive increase in approval ratings for the BC NDP and Premier John Horgan.”
The survey notes that prior to the pandemic, “Horgan’s approval rating was already strong, but the response to COVID-19 has skyrocketed his ratings by 17 points in just seven months to 68%, a level higher than for any political leader in BC since tracking began eight years ago.”
Among the factors weighing in Horgan’s favour is the fact that 85% of survey respondents think the provincial government has done a good job combating COVID-19, 84% for providing info about the pandemic, 79% for phase 2 and phase 3 reopening of the economy, and 69% for the financial support for people impacted by COVID-19.
The government noted that Horgan’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only thing working in the party’s favour.
In fact, “there have been 10 to 20 point jumps in approval ratings for the BC NDP for many areas — especially those areas where more BC residents typically approve rather than disapprove of the government’s performance,” said Insights West.
This, they said, includes the government’s handling of healthcare (62% approval rating, up 20 points), education (53%, up 13), the economy (50%, up 10), transportation (50%, up 14), jobs (48%, up 9), crime (46%, up 10), and taxes (41%, up 10), as well as the handling of BC’s crown corporations (44%, up 10). The government’s handling of systematic racism is a new feature added this wave, and ratings are more positive (41%) than negative (29%).
These approval ratings “could translate into a landslide victory for Horgan when we go to the polls in May of 2021,” said Insights West. In fact, the poll found that if an election was held right now, “the NDP would receive 47% of the decided popular vote primarily at the expense of other parties which have seen their support diminish since the start of the pandemic.”
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“One of the side effects of the pandemic is that British Columbians, and in the same vein, most Canadians, are rallying behind their leaders over the past several months,” said Steve Mossop, president of Insights West. “Approval ratings for government actions have been among the highest among hundreds of public initiatives we have covered in our polling over the years.”
And the “appreciation of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has translated into high approval ratings for incumbent leaders and has had a measurable effect among positive voter intentions at the expense of opposition parties in British Columbia,” he added.
Results of the poll are based on an online study conducted from June 24 to 28, 2020, among a sample of 830 BC residents.