Trudeau Makes Liberals Competitive in British Columbia

20151016_084642

New Democrats lose support as Justin Trudeau emerges as the top choice for Prime Minister.

Vancouver, BC – The Liberal Party has dramatically increased its standing in British Columbia as the Canadian federal election looms, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative provincial sample shows that 35% of decided voters in the province (+9 since September) would cast a ballot for the Liberal candidate in their constituency. The governing Conservative Party is second with 31% (+3), while the New Democratic Party (NDP) has dropped to third place (27%, -7). The Green Party is fourth with 7% (-4).

Slide1

The Liberals are the top choice for women (38%), voters aged 18-to-34 (44%) and those aged 35-to-54 (40%). The Conservatives lead among men (37%) and voters aged 55 and over (35%).

In Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the Liberals are now in first place with 38%, with the Conservatives (30%) and New Democrats (29%) virtually tied for second place. In Vancouver Island, the NDP is ahead with 36%, followed by the Greens with 26%.

Only 14% of British Columbians say they could change their mind and support a different candidate in the election. The level of committed voters is similar for Conservatives (91%), New Democrats (85%) and Liberals (also 85%), but slightly lower for the Greens (77%).

Approval, Momentum and Best Prime Minister

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau boasts the highest approval rating in British Columbia (64%, +13), followed by Green Party leader Elizabeth May (59%, +6) and Official Opposition and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair (57%, -3). One third of residents (34%, +2) provide a positive assessment of Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper.

Trudeau also posts the best momentum score at the end of the campaign (+24) followed by May (+16). Mulcair (-8) and Harper (-44) hold decidedly lower numbers. In fact, 51% of British Columbians say their opinion of the incumbent prime minister has worsened since the campaign began.

There is a big shift when British Columbians ponder who would make the best Prime Minister of Canada. Trudeau is now in first place with 30% (+10), followed by Harper with 26% (+4), Mulcair with 20% (-8) and May with 10% (+2).

“Trudeau’s approval rating has improved by 13 points in a month, and he is now the top choice of British Columbians to be Canada’s next head of government,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “This is a dramatic swing from his standing in August and September.”

Issues and the Contenders

More than a third of British Columbians (37%, -2) believe the most important issue facing Canada today is the economy and jobs. Government accountability is second with 17% (+1), followed by health care (13%, +2) and the environment (12%, +4).

Trudeau is now regarded as the best leader to handle the economy and jobs (34%). May has a sizeable lead on the environment (51%). Mulcair is seen as the best person to tackle housing, poverty and homelessness (38%) and health care (36%), while Harper is ahead on crime and public safety (31%) and energy and pipelines (26%).

There is no clear favourite on two other issues. On government accountability, Trudeau is two points ahead of Mulcair (27% to 25%). On foreign affairs, Harper (31%) and Trudeau (30%) are virtually tied.

Harper is regarded as the best person to handle the fight against ISIS (33%) and the niqab (27%). Mulcair is ahead on three other issues: child care (32%), surveillance and Bill C-51 (25%) and the future of Canada Post (21%). Trudeau holds an impressive lead on policies related to marijuana (43%) and is also ahead on dealing with the future of the Senate (27%).

On refugees, Harper is two points ahead of Trudeau (26% to 24%). On helping Canada’s war veterans, Trudeau and Mulcair are virtually tied (26% and 25% respectively, with Harper at 15%).

Almost three-in-four residents (74%, +1) believe it is time for a change of government in Canada, including 43% of British Columbians who voted for the Conservative Party in 2011 and 82% of those who reside in Vancouver Island.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 15 to October 18, 2015, among 1,007 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com