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BC NDP Lead Liberals, 38% to 33%

September 20, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds the BC NDP leading the BC Liberals by 5% among decided and leaning voters. With 2,207 respondents surveyed from September 7-8, the Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.09%, 19 times out of 20.

REGIONALS PAINT DETAILED PICTURE

“We’re seeing three different British Columbias”, said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “While the NDP are leading on Vancouver Island 48%-23%, with the Greens a close third at 20%, it’s the Liberals who are leading in the Interior 36%-31%. Meanwhile, the NDP hold a slim lead in Greater Vancouver just outside the margin of error.”

“However there is weakness in the NDP’s support. While 50% of voters say the economy will be important when casting their ballot, only 21% say the NDP are focused on job creation compared to 41% for the Liberals. 1-in 5 voters could not say if the NDP had a priority at all, more than double the 8% the BC Liberals scored on the same measure.”

ECONOMIC OPTIMISM RELATIVELY HIGH

“With a bleak picture of economic optimism in next door neighbour Alberta, BC has relatively high scores. Asked about the BC economy respondents are split, 42%-40% but asked about their own personal finances respondents are much more positive. 52% say they are optimistic about their own personal financial outlook for the next 12 months. Perhaps more concerning for the BC Liberals should be only 39% of British Columbians think the province is headed in the right direction while 31% say it is headed in the wrong direction. With 1-in-3 voters not sure, it doesn’t look like either party has been successful in selling a narrative about the state of the province. Young respondents (18-34) and seniors (65+) were the most likely to say BC is headed in the wrong direction, and BC seniors, an important voting block, were the most indecisive with 45% saying they didn’t know.”

OPINIONS DEADLOCKED ON KINDER MORGAN

“When we asked about approval of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion we found opinion deadlocked with 43% opposed and 42% in favour”, continued Maggi. “Despite these numbers only 27% of British Columbians believe the pipeline won’t be built while 39% believe it will be built regardless and another 34% aren’t sure.

”Despite their own personal opposition it does look like some British Columbians have begun to accept the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion may be approved regardless. These numbers are very similar to the ones we have found in British Columbia in previous polling.“

“Opposition to Kinder Morgan was heavily split among gender with 46% of Women disapproving (36% approval) and 49% of men approving (40% disapproval).”

SLIGHTLY MORE OPPOSED TO NORTHERN GATEWAY

“Scores for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline were slightly more negative than those for Kinder Morgan. 46% oppose the Northern Gateway project with 40% in favour, a 6 point gap. Fewer also believe it will be built regardless of their own personal support for the project (35%) while roughly the same amount (27%) don’t believe the project will be completed. Of note, while 28% strongly disapprove of Kinder Morgan, 32% strongly disapprove of Northern Gateway. Opposition is more pronounced.

BRITISH COLUMBIANS LIKE THE NEW BC CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN

”If the NDP’s job was to convince British Columbians the new BC Liberal Climate Change plan was a disaster they mostly failed. Only 47% say they’ve been following news about the new climate change plan and 36% have no opinion about it. 38% say they approve and 26% say they disapprove.

“Most tellingly, when we asked those respondents who disapprove of the plan why, only 53% said it was because the plan didn’t go far enough. 28%, almost 1-in-3, said the plan went too far and would hurt business, the remainder was undecided.”

“As the BC election approaches economic issues and party organization will become more important than ever. While the NDP currently has a 5% lead over the Liberals, the NDP have led in the polls before only to be disappointed when the votes are counted. What should concern them is many more British Columbians don’t know where they stand compared to the Liberals.”

“There are numbers here that should upset the Liberals as well and with many British Columbians opposed to new pipelines how they handle any potential pipeline approvals by the federal government may define how voters ultimately view their environmental record. While BC is not suffering the same economic malaise as Alberta or Saskatchewan, low economic optimism for the province should come as a concern,” finished Maggi.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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