BC NDP First, Tight Race for Second Place in British Columbia

Housing, homelessness and poverty is the most important issue for practically two-in-five of the province’s residents.

Vancouver, BC [September 26, 2023] – The governing BC New Democratic Party (NDP) remains ahead of all challengers in British Columbia’s political scene, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 48% of decided voters would cast a ballot for the BC NDP candidate in their riding if an election took place today, up two points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in May.

Two political parties are virtually tied for second place in the province: BC United with 20% (-13) and the Conservative Party of BC with 19% (+15). The BC Green Party is fourth with 12% (-4), while 1% of decided voters (=) would support other parties or independent candidates.

The BC NDP is in first place across all five major regions of the province, with higher support in Metro Vancouver (51%) and Vancouver Island (48%). The BC Conservatives are now second in the Fraser Valley (26%) and Northern BC (23%), while BC United is behind the BC NDP in Southern BC (29%).

“Almost one-in-five British Columbians (18%) do not know who to vote for in a provincial election,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “In our February and May surveys, only 10% of respondents were undecided.”

Respondents to this survey were asked if they would consider supporting each of the four main provincial parties if they ran a candidate in their riding in the next provincial election. The BC Conservatives featured candidates in 10 of 87 constituencies in the 2017 provincial election, and in 19 of 87 ridings in the 2020 ballot.

More than a third of British Columbians (37%, +12) say they would consider casting a ballot for the BC Conservatives. The rating on this question is lower for the BC Greens (35%, -2) and BC United (32%, -14), but higher for the BC NDP (51%, -10).

Just over half of British Columbians (52%, -7) approve of the way Premier and BC NDP leader David Eby is handling his duties. More than a third (36%, -4) feel the same way about BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau, while the proportions are lower for BC United leader Kevin Falcon (29%, -9) and BC Conservative leader John Rustad (25%, +7).

Just under two-in-five British Columbians (39%, +7) think housing, homelessness and poverty is the most important issue facing the province right now, followed by health care (22%, -16), the economy and jobs (12%, =), crime and public safety (6%, -8) and the environment (also 6%, +2).

About a third of British Columbians (32%) would like to see BC United and the Conservative Party of BC merging into a single party before the next provincial election, while 43% disagree and 25% are undecided.

The notion of a merger between BC United and the BC Conservatives is more popular among men (38%), residents of Northern BC (also 38%), British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (42%) and BC Liberal voters in the 2020 provincial election (54%).

When pondering the leaders of BC United and the Conservative Party of BC, more than one-in-five British Columbians believe Falcon is better suited than Rustad to form the government after the next election (21%) and serve as official opposition leader (22%).

Falcon is currently regarded as better suited to attract six types of voters to BC United: women (20%), voters aged 18-to-34 (19%), voters aged 35-to-54 (22%) and residents of Metro Vancouver (24%), the Fraser Valley (20%) and Southern BC (also 20%).

Rustad is seen as better suited to attract male voters (20%), voters aged 55 and over (24%) and residents in Northern BC (20%) to the BC Conservatives.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from September 17 to September 19, 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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca