Your Insights on the Upcoming BC Election

New Democrats (33%) hold a solid lead over the BC Liberals (21%) in this recent poll, but undecided (20%) voters lean towards Liberals (25%) rather than the NDP (20%), suggesting that the gap could narrow before election day.

The ethnic vote scandal was particularly damaging for the Liberals, with 47% feeling Christy Clark handled it poorly, and 30% believing she should have resigned over the issue.

Vancouver, BC – A recent Insights West online poll surveyed 855 BC adults regarding their voting intentions in the upcoming provincial election and related issues and found the NDP (33% of BC adults) continues to have a double-digit lead over the BC Liberals (21%)—but there are still a large number of undecided voters (20%) that will ultimately help decide the outcome of the upcoming election. Surprisingly, the BC Green Party captures more voters (11%) than the BC Conservative Party (8%); 1% would vote for other parties/independents and 6% said they would not vote.

The current large number of undecided voters will be a critical force in the upcoming election if they do turn out to vote and end up voting differently from those who are decided. Specifically, the leanings of undecided voters are currently slightly in favour of the BC Liberals (25%) over the NDP (20%). The BC Green Party (14%) continues to be slightly ahead of the BC Conservatives (8%) among leaners, as they were among those who are firmly decided. A solid 31% insist they are truly unsure/undecided (1% of those undecided lean towards another party, 2% indicate they would not vote).

Looking at the party support numbers among decided voters only, the NDP continues to maintain a strong lead (45%) over the BC Liberals (28%). Our poll indicates that the Green Party (15%) enjoys slightly greater support than The BC Conservative Party (10%).

Regionally, the NDP has its most commanding lead in Metro Vancouver/ Fraser Valley (49%) and on Vancouver Island (43%). In contrast, the vote is more evenly split in other parts of the province (37% for the NDP and 33% for the BC Liberals in the rest of the province outside of Metro Vancouver/ Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island).

The surging BC Green Party enjoys its greatest support on Vancouver Island (22%), edging ahead of Liberals (19%) to second place behind the NDP (43%) in this region. While the NDP is still number one among younger (18-34) voters (42%), The Green Party does very well among this demographic, capturing 25% of the decided vote.

“There is still a lot that can happen in the next month of election campaigning” comments Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “Currently, the Liberals hold an edge among undecided voters, but the NDP numbers are slightly higher among voters who are most likely to make it to the polling station. There is plenty of time in this campaign to see more movement in voter intentions.”

An issue that has attracted significant negative attention to Christy Clark and the BC Liberals in recent weeks is the information that came to light regarding the government’s “ethnic voting strategy”. When questioned in our poll, BC adults give the provincial leader a thumbs down for her job in dealing with this issue, with just under half (47%) believing she did a poor (23%) or very poor (24%) job. Only 3% give her excellent marks and 12% good (24% fair and 13% are unsure). Going further, a sizable minority (30%) of British Columbians believe the premier should have resigned over her party’s handling of the issue (47% do not think she should have resigned and 23% are unsure).

Decided Liberal voters were also critical of Christy Clark’s stumbling over the ethnic voting scandal, with 33% saying she did a fair job, and 16% saying she did a poor job. In fact, 11% of decided Liberal voters felt she should have resigned over the issue.

“An issue like the ethnic voting strategy scandal can have a momentary, yet dramatic effect on support levels for either party.” Steve continued. “If a negative issue like this comes to light in the next few weeks for either the NDP or Liberals, leanings of those undecided suggest could change dramatically in the next few weeks.”

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 and has eight full-time and five part-time employees.

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 26 – 31, 2013, among 855 residents of BC aged 18+ who are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for BC for age, gender, and region of BC. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West
778-891-4762
stevemossop@insightswest.com