Vancouver, BC, April 11, 2017 — With a minority government situation in British Columbia, there has been some speculation that a new provincial election could occur in the next few weeks or months. A new Ipsos online poll shows that voter party support has not shifted since the recent provincial election.
The NDP (42%) and BC Liberals (40%) are in a statistical dead heat among decided voters in British Columbia. The Green Party have the support of 15% of decided voters, while 2% support some other party. These results are very close to the recent provincial election, with the only changes being a 2 point increase for the NDP and a corresponding 2 point decrease for the Green Party (both of which are statistically insignificant). These results exclude the 18% of British Columbians who are undecided or express no preference for any party.
Among decided voters, the vast majority of those who recently voted for the NDP (94%) and BC Liberals (93%) say they would make the same choice in a new election. Recent Green Party voters are a little less likely to say they would make the same choice (75% Green, 13% NDP, 11% Liberal) but the sample size is small (n=100).
By region, decided voter support breaks down similar to the recent election with the NDP ahead by a little in Metro Vancouver (46% NDP to 40% Liberal, 11% Green) and by a lot on Vancouver Island (46% NDP to 28% Liberal, 24% Green). The BC Liberals continue to lead in the rest of the province (46% Liberal to 33% NDP, 19% Green).
Survey respondents were asked to consider a scenario where the BC Liberals do not agree to provide a Speaker and the position must be filled by an NDP or Green member. They were then asked whether they would prefer to have another election, or whether they would prefer a Green backed NDP minority with a Speaker who votes in a partisan manner to break possible tie votes.
British Columbians are split as to what they would prefer to see happen under this scenario. Slightly more than four-in-ten (41%) say they would prefer to ‘have an NDP minority government supported by the Greens, even if the Speaker needs to vote in a partisan manner to break tie votes’. Slightly less than four-in-ten (39%) say they would prefer to ‘have another election that might produce a more decisive outcome’. Two-in-ten (20%) are undecided.
As should be expected, preferences break along partisan lines, but far from uniformly.
- Six-in-ten (62%) recent BC Liberal voters prefer a new election, but two-in-ten (19%) prefer an NDP minority with a partisan Speaker (19% are undecided).
- Two-thirds (66%) of recent NDP voters prefer an NDP minority with a partisan Speaker, but nearly one-quarter (23%) prefer a new election (11% are undecided).
- Nearly six-in-ten (58%) recent Green voters prefer an NDP minority with a partisan Speaker, but more than one-third (36%) prefer a new election (7% are undecided).
Christy Clark (29%) and John Horgan (28%) are effectively tied as the choice of British Columbians as to who would make the best Premier of British Columbia. Andrew Weaver is a distant third choice at 12%. Three-in-ten (31%) residents are undecided as to which leader would make the best Premier.
The level of undecideds has increased by 12 points from our final poll before the election (from 19% in final poll to 31% today). The increase in undecideds comes mostly from Andrew Weaver (down from 21% in final poll to 12% today) but also from Christy Clark (down from 33% in final poll to 29% today). John Horgan is stable since the final poll (27% in final poll to 28% today).
About the Study
These are the findings of an Ipsos poll of 802 British Columbians conducted June 8 to 11, 2017. The poll was conducted online via the Ipsos I-Say Panel. These data were statistically weighted by region, age, gender and education to ensure the sample composition reflects that of the actual BC population according to Census data. The precision of Ipsos polls containing online data is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the overall poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible voters been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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Senior Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
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