British Columbians Ponder Future Effect of BC NDP Leadership Race

Women are more likely to support the BC New Democrats if David Eby replaces John Horgan as leader.

Vancouver, BC [October 18, 2022] – The governing BC New Democratic Party (NDP) remains ahead of the opposition BC Liberals in British Columbia’s political scene, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 44% of decided voters would support the BC NDP candidate in their constituency if a provincial ballot were held today, down two points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in February.

The BC Liberals are in second place with 35% (-3), followed by the BC Green Party with 15% (+2) and the BC Conservative Party with 4% (+2).

More than half of British Columbians (57%, -12) approve of the way Premier and BC NDP leader John Horgan has handled his duties. The numbers are lower for both BC Liberals leader Kevin Falcon (36%, -2) and BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau (35%, -1).

The survey also asked about the two prospective candidates seeking to replace Horgan at the helm of the BC NDP. Just over two-in-five British Columbians (42%) approve of David Eby, while three-in-ten (30%) feel the same way about Anjali Appadurai.

Across British Columbia, a third of residents (33%) say it makes no difference to them who becomes the next leader of the BC NDP, while one-in-five (25%) are undecided. Eby is ahead of Appadurai among all residents of the province (30% to 12%) and among those who voted for the BC New Democrats in the 2020 provincial election (42% to 11%).

Respondents to this poll were asked about four different scenarios that could materialize upon the conclusion of the BC NDP leadership race.

In a match-up with Eby as leader, 43% of decided voters would support the BC NDP and 34% would back the BC Liberals. The race becomes much closer if Appadurai supplants Horgan: 38% for the BC NDP and 36% for the BC Liberals.

“The BC NDP would have an easier time connecting with female voters with David Eby as leader,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Support for the governing party among women stands at 51% with him and at 44% under Appadurai.”

The results are also different if either of the losing contenders in the BC NDP leadership race decided to create their own political parties.

With Eby as leader, the BC NDP would keep the upper hand over the BC Liberals (40% to 34%), with lower support for the BC Greens (15%), the BC Conservatives (6%) and a new political party led by Appadurai (3%).

An Appadurai-led BC NDP would be four points behind the BC Liberals (31% to 35%). The BC Greens would be third with 16%, followed by a new provincial party led by Eby (10%) and the BC Conservatives (6%).

When asked about the most important issue facing the province, almost two-in-five British Columbians (38%, +5) select housing, homelessness and poverty—a proportion that jumps to 43% among women and to 47% among those aged 18-to-34.

Health care is second on the list of concerns with 28% (+5), rising to 44% among British Columbians aged 55 and over. The economy and jobs is third on the list with 11% (-5), followed by crime and public safety (8%, +4) and the environment (6%, -4).


Results are based on an online study conducted from October 9 to October 11, 2022, among 800 adults in British Columbia. 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 +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]