For B.C. voters it’s still a tie
Vancouver B.C. (15 Mar 2019) – The BC Liberals and BC NDP are statistically tied among B.C. decided voters. Currently, support for the BC Liberals and BC NDP stands at 31% and 30% (a statistical tie) among decided B.C. voters.
Well back, but with a strong showing, one-in-five decided voters (19%) would support the BC Conservatives, showing an appetite for the party if they were to nominate candidates in all BC ridings. In the absence of a BC Conservative candidate, their supporters are more likely to support the BC Liberals over other parties.
The BC Greens, who enjoyed a significant increase in popular support in the 2017 provincial election when they nominated candidates in nearly every BC riding, are in fourth with support from 16% of eligible voters.
The poll finds 17% of those surveyed are are undecided.
THE NUMBERS BY REGION
BC Liberal support among decided voters is strongest in the Lower Mainland region of Metro Vancouver and Sea to Sky (35% support) and Southern Interior and Fraser Valley regions (32%).
BC NDP leads in City of Vancouver (44%), Northern BC (41%), and Balance Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, and Mainland Coast (41%).
BC Greens lead in the Capital region (34%) and are second behind the BC NDP on the balance of Vancouver Island and Mainland Coast (25%).
If the BC Conservatives were to run candidates in the Southern Interior and Fraser Valley, they would vie for the popular support with the BC Liberals (33% for BC Conservatives and 32% for BC Liberals).
THE NUMBERS BY GENDER AND AGE
Male decided voters are more likely to support the BC Liberals than BC NDP (36% vs. 26%). Women, on the other hand, lean to the BC NDP (33% vs. 27% support for the BC Liberals).
Across age, BC NDP support is relatively consistent among all age groups (from 26% to 33%), while BC Liberal support increases with age, from 22% among voters under 35 years to 37% among voters 55 and older. Notably, older residents are also the group most likely to turn out to vote.
BC Green support is highest among voters under 35 years (26%) and decreases with age (to 9% among voters 55 and older). BC Conservative support is lowest among decided voters aged 18 to 34 (13% vs. 22% among those 35 and older).
ISSUES AND CONCERNS
Housing affordability is the issue of concern affecting the largest proportion of BC residents (24%) by a wide margin over other issues. Housing affordability is more likely to be a top concern among Metro Vancouver and Sea to Sky residents than those living elsewhere in the province (33% vs 5% in Northern BC and 12% to 18% in other regions).
Related to affordability, good paying jobs follows as a top issue for 14%, followed by healthcare, safety and crime, and climate change (all 11%). Local transportation and transit follows at 8%.
BC residents’ top concerns divide (loosely) along party lines, with BC NDP and BC Green supporters most likely to worry about housing affordability (32% and 34%) and climate change (15% and 35%), while BC Liberal and BC Conservative supporters are most concerned about good paying jobs (19% each) and safety and crime (15% and 16%). There is more common ground when it comes to health care, which is a top issue for a minority (11% to 17%) of BC NDP, BC Liberal, and BC Conservative supporters.
WHO WILL BEST ADDRESS THE ISSUES?
Which party do residents feel would best address their key concerns? In a reversal of voter intention, the largest proportion (29%) of residents identifies the BC NDP, followed by the BC Liberals (24%). Undoubtedly, the BC NDP’s leading performance is driven by concern over the housing affordability crisis, the plurality concern in the province. The BC Conservatives and BC Greens follow at 15% and 12%, respectively.
Looking specifically at what party residents feel would best handle specific issues:
Housing affordability: A plurality (42%) of residents who cite the cost of housing as a top issue feel the BC NDP would do the best job handling the issue, followed at some distance, by the BC Liberals (18%).
Good paying jobs: The BC Liberals have the directional edge (31%) when it comes to addressing the issue of good paying jobs. However, the BC NDP have traction among nearly one-third of voters (28%).
Healthcare: The largest proportion (33%) of residents for whom healthcare is a main worry feel the BC Liberals would do the best job handling the issue followed relatively closely by the BC NDP (27%).
Safety and crime: Among residents who cite safety and crime as their top concern, four-in-ten (40%) feel the BC Liberals are best suited to handle the issue, followed at some distance by the BC Conservatives (17%).
Climate change: A majority (63%) of residents concerned about climate change would turn to the BC Greens to tackle this issue. The BC NDP and BC Liberals follow at some distance with 19% and 10%, respectively.
The BC NDP has not gained ground since forming their minority government (with BC Green support) following the 2017 provincial election. The governing party remains statistically tied with the BC Liberals.
To the BC Liberals’ benefit, B.C. residents most trust the party to handle three of the top five issues of greatest concern. However, their hold on two of these issues–jobs and healthcare–is tenuous. With an election possible if the BC Greens withdraw their support, the BC NDP is currently viewed as the best party (by far) to deal with the cost of housing, an issue affecting one-in-four (24%).
Voters will support the party they believe will address their greatest concerns. Viable platforms from the BC Liberals on jobs and healthcare may elevate BC Liberal support. But the governing BC NDP is in the position to take action and entrench support. By prioritizing the plurality issues in BC (housing affordability, good paying jobs, and healthcare) the BC NDP may be in a better position than the BC Liberals to address and capitalize on BC residents’ top issues.
For more information contact:
Barb Justason, Justason Market Intelligence
+1 604 783 4165 / Barb@JustasonMI.com
About Justason Market Intelligence Inc.
Justason Market Intelligence Inc. is a Vancouver-based market and social research firm asking the right people the right questions and delivering epiphanies. Justason offers the complete range of survey research and qualitative methodologies, all with personal service only possible with a boutique firm. The firm owns and operates Vancouver Focus®.
These are the findings of a Justason Market Intelligence (JMI) survey of B.C. citizens 18 years and older. This research is the first in a series of polls relying on a three-week rolling sample design. The survey, conducted and sponsored by Justason Market Intelligence, was completed in English February 26th to March 13th, 2019 by automated random digit dialling (RDD) of landlines and mobile phones. A maximum of three attempts were made to reach potentially qualified individuals. The final weighted sample of 812 interviews was adjusted to the actual gender, age, and region distributions of the 2016 census. Details of actual and weighted samples are provided in the data tables. The final sample of 812 has a margin of error of +/-3.4 percentage points 95 percent of the time. The sample of 666 (decided voters), has a margin of error of +/-3.8 percentage points.