Lead for New Democratic Party Increases in British Columbia

John Horgan is ahead of Andrew Wilkinson as the best leader to handle the five most important issues for voters in the province.

Vancouver, BC [October 8, 2020] – The BC New Democratic Party (NDP) has extended its advantage in British Columbia’s provincial electoral campaign, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 48% of decided voters in British Columbia would cast a ballot for the BC NDP candidate in their constituency, up four points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in late September.

The BC Liberals remain in second place with 36% (-1), followed by the BC Green Party with 13% (=) and the BC Conservative Party with 2% (-3). 

The BC NDP holds a nine-point edge over the BC Liberals among decided male voters (47% to 38%) and a 16-point lead among decided female voters (49% to 33%).

The New Democrats are also ahead of the BC Liberals among decided voters aged 18-to-34 (45% to 31%), decided voters aged 35-to-54 (46% to 33) and decided voters aged 55 and over (44% to 34%).

Just under one-in-four decided voters (23%) say they may change their mind and support another party’s candidate in the election scheduled for Oct. 24. Supporters of the BC Liberals and the BC NDP are less likely to consider a switch (15% and 20% respectively) than those who plan to vote for the BC Greens (29%).

When asked about the main factor that motivates their selection, 43% of decided voters cite the party’s ideas and policies, while 21% focus mostly on the party’s leader and 14% concentrate on the party’s candidate in the riding. Fewer decided voters in British Columbia are swayed by a desire for stability (11%), a desire for change (10%) or disgust with other contending candidates (4%).

The approval rating for Premier and BC NDP leader John Horgan stands at 65% (-1). The numbers are lower for BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson (40%, +1) and BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau (33%, -4).

Horgan’s campaign momentum is balanced, with 24% of likely voters in British Columbia saying their opinion of him has improved and 24% stating that it has worsened. In contrast, Wilkinson has a negative momentum score (Improved 16%, Worsened 26%) as does Furstenau (Improved 12%, Worsened 16%).

On the preferred premier question, almost half of likely voters in British Columbia (47%, +3) select Horgan, with Wilkinson at 27% (=) and Furstenau at 6% (-1).

As was the case last month, likely voters in British Columbia are primarily preoccupied with housing, poverty and homelessness (25%, +1), the economy and jobs (also 25%, +4) and health care (23%, -3). Other issues mentioned by likely voters are COVID-19 (8%, -3), the environment (7%, =), crime and public safety (4%, -4), accountability (3%, =), education (1%, =) and energy (1%, +1).

When asked which leader is better suited to handle specific issues, Horgan holds sizeable leads over Wilkinson on COVID-19 (52% to 20%), health care (48% to 24%), education (42% to 23%), the economy and jobs (42% to 30%), housing, poverty and homelessness (40% to 23%), accountability (37% to 28%), crime and public safety (37% to 30%) and energy (34% to 27%).

On the environment, Furstenau is in first place (33%), followed by Horgan with 29% and Wilkinson with 18%.

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 5 to October 7, 2020, among 750 likely voters in British Columbia, including 698 decided voters in the 2020 provincial election. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.6 percentage points for likely voters and +/- 3.7 percentage points for decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

Photo by James Wheeler

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca