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Over half of voters now support NDP in BC

[Ottawa – September 1, 2020] The NDP now has the support of over half of British Columbians, perhaps their strongest poll result in recent memory. Their lead over the provincial Liberals is now at 26 points (51-25). The Greens remain in third at 14 points among decided voters, while 11% support other parties. One-in-six voters (16%) remain undecided. Our recent polling in other provinces show large leads for governing parties, thanks in part to their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NDP is no exception, even though they lead a minority government with support in confidence votes from the Green Party.

Compared to our last poll conducted earlier this summer, the NDP is up five points from 46% and the “pro free-enterprise” Liberals are down four points from 29%. The Greens, who are about to elect a new leader this month are up one point from 12, but are still down from the 17% they won in the 2017 election. In that election, both the Liberals and the NDP were tied in the popular vote at 40%. Support for “other parties” is down one point from 12. Most of this support is likely backing the moribund BC Conservative Party, who only ran 10 candidates in the last election. Voters deciding to park their vote here could partly explain why the Liberals are down 15 points from 2017 with the province’s highly polarized electorate.

The NDP now leads in every region of the province, even in the Interior where they trailed the Liberals in our last poll. In fact, there has been a huge shift in the Interior, where the NDP has gone up from 35 to 44 points, while the Liberals have dropped from 37 to 25. The NDP’s best region is now the North Shore/Burnaby/Tri-Cities area, where they have gone from 49% to 61%, most of which is at the expense of the Green vote, which went down from 19% to 11%. The strongest region for the Liberals is now the East and Southern Lower Mainland, which consists of Vancouver’s outer suburbs. Even here, the Liberals trail the NDP by 16 points (49-33). For the Greens, their strongest region is the Greater Victoria area, where they won two of their three seats in 2017. There, they have passed the Liberals into second place, with the support of 23% of decided voters, still well behind the NDP who are at 57%.

The NDP has large leads among every age group, but remains comparatively weak among voters under 35, at 44 points. Compared to our last poll, the NDP has seen a bump in support from voters over 50, going up 11 points to 56% with the 50-64 cohort and up five points to 55% in the 65 plus cohort. Support for the Liberals has dropped in each age group, and they are now polling in the mid-20s in every group. Support for the Green Party remains strong among younger voters (under 35) at 20%, just two points behind the Liberals who are in second place. Support for the Greens goes down in each subsequent age group, dropping down to nine points among seniors (65+).

Support for the NDP continues to be highest among university educated voters, where they now lead 56-23. Among the other two education groups, the NDP now leads by over 20 points. Compared to our last poll, there has been a shift among high school educated voters. The NDP went from leading the Liberals by just five points (36-21) earlier this Summer, to a 22 point lead (47-25) now.

Our poll suggests that the NDP is tapping into an electorate that was once more hostile to the party. The British Columbia electorate is notoriously polarized; Since the 2005 election, the two parties have always been within five points of each other in provincial elections. However, even if every “Other” voter ends up backing the Liberals, the NDP would still have a healthy 15 point lead, which would be a result they have never had in the history of BC elections. For things to get close, almost every undecided voter would also have to back the Liberals.

Methodology:

This survey was conducted using High Definition Interactive Voice Response (HD-IVR™) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator. In an effort to reduce the coverage bias of landline only RDD, we created a dual landline/cell phone RDD sampling frame for this research. As a result, we are able to reach those with a landline and cell phone, as well as cell phone only households and landline only households.
The field dates for this survey are July 18 to August 26, 2020. In total, a random sample of 1984 British Columbia residents aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Please note that the margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as region, sex, age, education). All the data have been statistically weighted by age, gender, education, and region to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the British Columbia electorate, according to Census data and past election turnouts.

Please click here for the data tables.

Please click here for a copy of the questionnaire that was used for this survey.

2 comments to Over half of voters now support NDP in BC

  • Layton

    Hi there,

    Can you provide more detail on the regional breakdown and how it was developed?

    Thanks

  • Earl Washburn

    Sure,
    Vancouver = City of Vancouver
    East & Southern Lower Mainland = Richmond, Delta, Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows & the Fraser Valley
    Burnaby, Tri Cities, North Shore = Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Sea to Sky Country
    Greater Victoria: Victoria, Saanich, Sidney, Gulf Islands, Esquimalt, Sooke etc
    Pacific Coast: Rest of Vancouver Island, Skeena-Bulkley Valley, Powell River
    Interior = Everything else

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