British Columbia 2017 election too close to call?

Post Date


Vancouver B.C. (30 Apr 2017) – This election is now firmly in too-close-to-call territory. Just one week after our last poll, an already close race is even closer, pollsters at Justason Market Intelligence / zinc tank find.

The BC Liberals have closed the province-wide gap with the BC NDP (from 3 points favouring NDP to 1 point favouring Liberals). BC NDP now garners support from 37% of B.C.’s decided voters. The BC Liberals, meanwhile, continue to attract solid support, up directionally to 38% (from 36%). The poll differs substantially from another recent narrative, which found a post-debate surge in NDP-Liberal gap. The BC Greens continue well back with support from a solid one-in-five decided voters (21%).

With our online methodology possibly over-representing support for left-leaning parties, as pollsters found in 2013 election predictions, the BC Liberals may be comfortable with their position given the efficiency and distribution of their vote.


The BC NDP are favoured more by women than men (40% to 34% of men). Men continue to be more inclined to support the BC Liberals (45% versus 31% of women). The BC NDP performs better among the under-35s. For the BC Liberals, the opposite is true: Their support increases with age, and significantly so with the critical 55-and-older demographic—a group more inclined to turnout to vote.


As noted in other polls, we too have found strong support for the BC Greens in Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island / Gulf Islands. The Greens run second to the BC NDP in these areas.

A closer look at where support stands in each region of the province:

City of Vancouver: NDP holds a steady lead.

Metro Vancouver (excluding City of Vancouver): The Liberals have opened up a lead on the NDP. While we’re seeing some gains for the Greens, the third party remains in third.

Victoria area: The Greens (now at 34%) may be closing the gap with NDP (37%). Liberals remain well back in third with support from 23% of decided voters in this area.

Vancouver Island/Gulf Islands: NDP appear to have a solid lead in this region, followed by a strong showing from the Greens. In third position, the Liberals trail the NDP and the Greens.

Northern BC: A lock for the Liberals.

Southern Interior / Coast: We’re seeing a dead heat between the Liberals and NDP in this region.

At this point, the key battlegrounds regionally will be Metro Vancouver (outside of the City of Vancouver) and the Southern Interior/Coast region. There’s a different battle underway in the Victoria area with what may be a surge in interest in the Greens.

The South Interior and Coast region remains intriguing with a closer race between the Liberals and the NDP. With a real estate boom underway in urban centres of the region, there may be rising concern about housing affordability, giving rise to increased support for the BC NDP and their housing affordability plan.


How will this all play out?

The pollsters are not counting out a strong showing for the BC Liberals. With the election just over a week away, the gap between the two major parties shows signs of continuing to narrow. While the race may be a tight one according to the polls, the BC NDP were far further ahead at this stage in the 2013 campaign.

The BC NDP (and more than a few pollsters) learned in 2013 to underestimate the BC Liberal campaign machinery at their peril. Undoubtedly, the governing party will be focused on their tight races and in areas where they will benefit from NDP-Green vote splitting. We’ll also watch for the BC Greens to redouble their campaign efforts in key Victoria area ridings. With candidates in almost every riding of the province, we expect to see a substantial growth in BC Green popular support.

A note on decided voters: Our polling is finding an increase in decided voters, up to 68% (from 63% just over a week ago). While we won’t predict voter turnout will reach these levels, an increase in decided vote is an indication that voters are now paying more attention to this election.

View the data tables here.

Research Notes

Justason Market Intelligence and zinc tank have teamed up to offer regular insights on the British Columbia provincial election. These are the findings of a survey of 1,127 adult residents of British Columbia including a subsample of 768 decided voters. The survey was conducted in partnership by Justason Market Intelligence and zinc tank. The online sample source, Google communities, uses Bayesian, river-sampling methodology to yield a final weighted sample reflecting the actual population demographics and character. These data rely on a non-probability weighted sample; hence, no margin of error is reported. B.C. has higher-than-average penetration of mobile internet access. Broadband internet access exceeds landline usage. The Google Surveys research tool continues to be rated favourably and has been used extensively by zinc tank’s Brian F. Singh in his work in the 2014 Winnipeg Municipal Election and during the Alberta and Federal Elections in 2015.
  • Dates of research: April 25-28, 2017
  • Total Sample: 1,127 B.C. residents 18 years and older
  • Decided voters: 768 eligible B.C. voters
  • Methodology: Online via Google Surveys
  • Weighting: Final data were weighted to match actual regional, gender, and age distributions according to the most recent census.
  • Margin of error: This research does not report margin of error. A pure unweighted probability sample of 1,127 reports margin of error at ±2.9 percentage points most (95 per cent) of the time.
  • Research Sponsors: zinc tank and Justason Market Intelligence Inc.
For more information contact:
Barb Justason, Justason Market Intelligence Inc.
+1 604 783 4165 / /
Brian Singh, zinc tank
+1 403 861 9462 / /
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