Most British Columbians Foresee an Early Election in 2023

More than three-in-five of the province’s residents who voted for the BC Liberals in 2020 like the name BC United.

Vancouver, BC [February 15, 2023] – A majority of British Columbians think voters will be asked to select the members of the Legislative Assembly before the end of the year, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 53% of British Columbians think it is “very likely” or “moderately likely” that the province will have an election in 2023.

“Expectations of an early provincial election in British Columbia are highest among residents who voted for the BC Liberals in 2020 (61%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Fewer BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and BC Green Party voters (52% and 48% respectively) see themselves casting ballots in 2023.”

The BC Liberals will change their name to BC United in 2023. More than a third of British Columbians (36%) say they like the new name for the political party that formed the government from 2001 to 2017—a proportion that rises to 62% among those who voted for the BC Liberals in the last provincial election, held in October 2020.

If an early election indeed takes place in 2023, more than half of British Columbians (53%) predict a win for the BC NDP, while 28% believe the BC Liberals / BC United will emerge victorious.

The survey also gauged the opinion of British Columbians on the people who have served as full time or interim leaders of the three main provincial political parties in this century.

Almost two thirds of British Columbians (64%) have a favourable opinion of John Horgan, who led the BC NDP from 2014 to 2022 and served as premier from 2017 to 2022. The rating is lower for Adrian Dix (46%), Carole James (40%), Ujjal Dosanjh (also 40%) and Joy MacPhail (31%).

Horgan’s favourability rating is 87% among BC NDP voters in the 2020 provincial election.

When British Columbians ponder the previous leaders of the BC Liberals, about two-in-five hold favourable views on the two who headed the provincial government: Gordon Campbell (41%) and Christy Clark (39%). The rating is significantly lower for Shirley Bond (27%), Andrew Wilkinson (24%) and Rich Coleman (22%).

The favourability rating for Campbell and Clark is almost identical among BC Liberal voters in 2020 (65% and 66% respectively).

Across British Columbia, Andrew Weaver (36%) has the highest favourability rating among former leaders of the BC Green Party, followed by Adriane Carr (32%), Adam Olsen (23%) and Jane Sterk (18%).

Weaver’s favourability rating reaches 57% among BC Green Party voters in the 2020 provincial election.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted on February 4 to February 6, 2023, 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]