March 2, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds the BC NDP pulling away to a 5-point lead among decided and leaning voters – but many voters across the province are still undecided. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
“On the surface this is a good news week for the NDP” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “Among decided and leaning voters they are now leading by 5%. However, the BC Liberals have gained in the ‘Rest of BC’ where the undecided vote has plummeted. What that tells us is that the BC Liberals may have hidden strength. They may not be able to peel supporters away from the other parties, but they may not need to if they can influence an outsized portion of the undecided electorate.”
“Pollsters typically only report ‘Decided’ or ‘Decided & Leaning’ numbers. Some do this because their assumption is that undecided voters will vote the same way the decided voters will, or that undecided voters will not vote at all. Given the numbers we are seeing in BC we think this is a dangerous assumption to make. It‘s important to remember voters lead busy lives – many will not have tuned in to budget coverage and won’t learn about the policy proposals until much later on in the election campaign.”
“While the NDP are now leading in Greater Vancouver they should be wary of celebrating just yet. 22% of British Columbians presently don’t know whether they have a favourable or unfavourable view of Christy Clark. That number is more than double for John Horgan at 50%. It is 66% for Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver. If the NDP are not careful, it will be Christy Clark and Liberal Party advertising that will fill in the blanks.”
“The Green Party is down slightly this week (-2) within the margin of error. Regionally they are registering lower scores now in the ‘Rest of BC’ but this is primarily a result of the undecided rate there now being so low.”
“The BC Conservatives gained this week in spite of – or perhaps because – no leader or interim leader. Where the BC Conservative vote moves to will be crucial to watch if they are not able to field a full slate as expected.”
“57% of British Columbians told us this week that the foreign buyers tax has had no effect on home affordability. Despite this, 60% said the policy was a good idea (23% said it was a bad one). Even 56% of voters who said the policy made no difference still said the policy was a good idea.”
“46% of voters are in favour of a $10 childcare plan – despite the cost. The policy is popular with BC’s undecided voters registering a net score of +16 (support – opposition).”
“It’s a different story for the NDP and Green Party proposal to eliminate MSPs entirely with a hike to the income tax rate. BC Voters are split with 38% opposed and 36% in favour, but BC’s undecided voters register net opposition of -10 (opposition – support),” finished Maggi.