BC Election 2020. BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC NDP leader John Horgan, and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)

Less than half of B.C. voters decided just weeks away from snap election: poll

COVID, housing, climate change are top issues on voters’ minds

More than half of voters are undecided nearly halfway into a snap election campaign in B.C. this fall, according to an Angus Reid Institute poll released Tuesday (Oct. 6).

The election, called by NDP Leader John Horgan on Sept. 21, pits the party against BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson and BC Greens Leader Sonia Furstenau.

According to the poll, 41 per cent of British Columbians are “absolutely certain” about which party they will vote for, while 37 per cent are “fairly certain” and 22 per cent are completely undecided.

As of Tuesday, 49 per cent of voters support the NDP, 31 per cent the BC Liberals and 14 per cent the Greens.

The top issue in the Oct. 24 election is COVID-19, at 33 per cent of respondents. Just behind is health care overall at 32 per cent, housing affordability at 31 per cent and climate change and the environment at 30 per cent. Economic growth sits next at 23 per cent.

However, priorities shift by age and gender. Young women are more concerned about COVID-19 and health care, while young men are more worried about housing affordability, climate change and the environment.

What voters were most concerned about also differed by region. Housing affordability was top of mind in Metro Vancouver at 40 per cent, while less than 30 per cent of those polled in the rest of B.C. said it was their top concern.

British Columbians who saw the pandemic as the most important issue this election gave the NDP top marks on their COVID-19 response, with 67 per cent saying the party would do the best with the virus. Another 11 per cent said the Liberals would do the best job and five per cent said the Greens would. The NDP also received the best marks on housing affordability, while the Greens gave voters the most confidence on climate change and the environment. The Liberals had a strong lead over their competitors on economic growth, with 64 per cent of those polled deeming them the best party on that file, compared to 15 per cent for the NDP and four per cent for the Greens.

Although the NDP have made a strong record for themselves on COVID-19, more than half of those polled said Horgan called “an unnecessary election in the middle of a pandemic in a cynical attempt to keep power.” Overall, 58 per cent of respondents said the election was unnecessary, compared to 42 per cent who believe it was fine to call an election to get the stability of a majority mandate.

This poll was conducted as an online survey of 989 B.C. adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum from Oct. 1-3.

READ MORE: NDP, Liberals makes free COVID-19 vaccine promise on B.C. election trail

READ MORE: NDP promise ICBC rebate as BC Liberals pledge to hold referendum on Surrey policing


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Items seized over four days of targeted vehicle checks Nanaimo and Victoria by members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC photo)
Gang enforcement team seizes drugs and weapons in Victoria and Nanaimo

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. checked 33 vehicles over four days

Investigators seized sophisticated equipment including credit card embossers, credit card PIN machines, heavy duty printers and computers used to create fraudulent cards. (West Shore RCMP handout)
West Shore RCMP arrest two, find 1,000 pieces of stolen ID in Langford

Investigation began after fraudulent bank draft used to buy vehicle in Colwood

Sam Liu, an assistant professor of kinesiology at UVic, has found extroverts, particularly people who are very active and social, are experiencing higher levels of distress throughout the pandemic. (Provided by UVic Photo Services)
University of Victoria study finds extroverts experiencing higher stress levels during pandemic

Degree of extroversion influences individual perception of stress during the pandemic

Police continue to investigate a break-and-enter in this Sidney jewelry store in the 2500-block of Beacon Avenue. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Thieves hit Sidney jewelry store

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP says incident is not part of a larger trend

A rare Short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Oct. 26 and will be sent for a necropsy to find out if it had ingested rat poison. (Photo courtesy Kimberly Adamec)
Rare owl found dead in Saanich yard to be sent for necropsy

Short-eared owl ‘vulnerable’ in B.C., owl advocate says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

An elderly woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past an advertisement for a television series in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. has been under a COVID-19 state of emergency for more than half the year

Province has been under a state of emergency for 32 weeks – and counting

Most Read