BC Election 2020. BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC NDP leader John Horgan, and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)

Less than half of B.C. voters decided just weeks away from snap election: poll

COVID, housing, climate change are top issues on voters’ minds

More than half of voters are undecided nearly halfway into a snap election campaign in B.C. this fall, according to an Angus Reid Institute poll released Tuesday (Oct. 6).

The election, called by NDP Leader John Horgan on Sept. 21, pits the party against BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson and BC Greens Leader Sonia Furstenau.

According to the poll, 41 per cent of British Columbians are “absolutely certain” about which party they will vote for, while 37 per cent are “fairly certain” and 22 per cent are completely undecided.

As of Tuesday, 49 per cent of voters support the NDP, 31 per cent the BC Liberals and 14 per cent the Greens.

The top issue in the Oct. 24 election is COVID-19, at 33 per cent of respondents. Just behind is health care overall at 32 per cent, housing affordability at 31 per cent and climate change and the environment at 30 per cent. Economic growth sits next at 23 per cent.

However, priorities shift by age and gender. Young women are more concerned about COVID-19 and health care, while young men are more worried about housing affordability, climate change and the environment.

What voters were most concerned about also differed by region. Housing affordability was top of mind in Metro Vancouver at 40 per cent, while less than 30 per cent of those polled in the rest of B.C. said it was their top concern.

British Columbians who saw the pandemic as the most important issue this election gave the NDP top marks on their COVID-19 response, with 67 per cent saying the party would do the best with the virus. Another 11 per cent said the Liberals would do the best job and five per cent said the Greens would. The NDP also received the best marks on housing affordability, while the Greens gave voters the most confidence on climate change and the environment. The Liberals had a strong lead over their competitors on economic growth, with 64 per cent of those polled deeming them the best party on that file, compared to 15 per cent for the NDP and four per cent for the Greens.

Although the NDP have made a strong record for themselves on COVID-19, more than half of those polled said Horgan called “an unnecessary election in the middle of a pandemic in a cynical attempt to keep power.” Overall, 58 per cent of respondents said the election was unnecessary, compared to 42 per cent who believe it was fine to call an election to get the stability of a majority mandate.

This poll was conducted as an online survey of 989 B.C. adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum from Oct. 1-3.

READ MORE: NDP, Liberals makes free COVID-19 vaccine promise on B.C. election trail

READ MORE: NDP promise ICBC rebate as BC Liberals pledge to hold referendum on Surrey policing


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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