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POLL – Conservatives Second, BC NDP Stays Ahead in British Columbia – Conservatives Strong Showing in Fraser Valley

Vancouver (Reserch Co/Mario Canseco) – An interesting poll with Fraser Valley implications was released, just days before BC United Leader Kevin Falcon holds a townhall meeting in Chilliwack, to shore up votes for the October 19 Provincial Election.

The governing BC New Democratic Party (NDP) keeps a double-digit lead over its closest competitor in British Columbia, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 46% of decided voters would support the BC NDP candidate in their riding if a provincial election took place today, down two points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in September 2023.

The Conservative Party of BC Is in second place with 25% (+6), followed by BC United with 17% (-3) and the BC Green Party with 11% (-1), while 2% of decided voters (+1) would back other parties or independent candidates.

The proportion of undecided voters across British Columbia fell from 18% in September to 13% this month.

“More than four-in-five voters who supported the John Horgan-led BC NDP in 2020 (83%) are staying with the party under a new leader,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Only 41% of voters who backed the BC Liberals under Andrew Wilkinson would cast a ballot for BC United.”

The BC NDP remains particularly popular in Vancouver Island (52%) and Metro Vancouver (47%). The BC New Democrats hold smaller leads over the BC Conservatives in the Fraser Valley (39% to 32%) and Southern BC (37% to 27%). In Northern BC, the two parties are virtually tied (BC Conservatives 40%, BC NDP 39%).

The BC NDP is leading across all three age groups in British Columbia. Among the opposition parties, the BC Conservatives do better with voters aged 18-to-34 (28%) and aged 35-to-54 (29%), while BC United is connecting well with voters aged 55 and over (27%).

As was the case in September, 39% of British Columbians (=) select housing, homelessness and poverty as the most important issue facing the province, followed by health care (22%, =), the economy and jobs (17%, +5), crime and public safety (5%, -1) and the environment (4%, -2).

The approval rating for Premier and BC NDP leader David Eby stands at 53% (+1) this month. The proportions are lower for BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau (34%, -2), BC Conservative leader John Rustad (32%, +7) and BC United leader Kevin Falcon (31%, +2).

Respondents to this survey were asked if they would consider supporting each of the four main provincial parties if they ran a candidate in their riding in the next provincial election. The BC Conservatives featured candidates in 10 of 87 constituencies in the 2017 provincial election, and in 19 of 87 ridings in the 2020 ballot.

Just over two-in-five British Columbians (41%, +4) would consider supporting the BC Conservatives. This rating is lower than what is observed for the governing BC NDP (54%, +3), but higher than the proportions of residents currently willing to vote for the BC Greens (34%, -1) and BC United (33%, +1).

About a third of British Columbians (32%, =) would like to see BC United and the Conservative Party of BC merging into a single party before this year’s provincial ballot, while 45% (+2) disagree and 23% (-2) are undecided.

A merger between the two centre-right parties would find the support of 56% of British Columbians who are planning to vote for BC United and 48% of those who are planning to back the BC Conservatives.

When British Columbians assess the leaders of the Conservative Party of BC and BC United, slightly more believe Falcon is better suited than Rustad to serve as official opposition leader after the next election (23% to 19%). The two contenders are practically tied when it comes to forming the provincial government (Rustad 20%, Falcon 19%).

Rustad is seen as the best option to attract five types of voters to his party: male voters (24%), voters aged 35-to-54 (23%), voters aged 55 and over (29%) and residents of Northern BC (26%) and the Fraser Valley (23%).

Falcon is ahead on five other categories: women (19%), voters aged 18-to-34 (21%), and residents of Metro Vancouver (25%), Southern BC (21%) and Vancouver Island (20%).

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from January 22 to January 24, 2024, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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