May 1, 2017 9:31 am
Updated: May 2, 2017 6:02 pm

B.C. Election: Liberals and NDP in tight race according to new Ipsos poll

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Just over one week before B.C. voters head to the polls, a new poll is breaking down how British Columbians feel about each party — and the numbers suggest the BC Liberals and the BC NDP are in a tight race.

Monday’s poll comes almost three weeks after the last Ipsos poll on April 11 and shows the Liberals and the NDP in a statistical tie among decided voters.

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According to the poll, the Liberals now have a two-point lead over the NDP. Currently, 43 per cent of decided voters say they would be most likely to support or lean towards the Liberals, while 41 per cent favour the NDP. Since the start of the campaign, the BC Liberals have moved up four points, while the NDP has lost points (was 44 per cent NDP to 39 per cent Liberals).

The BC Green Party currently has the support of 14 per cent of decided voters, which is up two points from the start of the campaign, according to the poll. The Green party remains set to benefit the most from potential vote switching.

Twenty per cent of voters say they are undecided or expressed no preference towards any political party.

The survey did provide some hope for parties trying to unseat the Liberals with 51 per cent of respondents saying they felt it was “time for another provincial party to take over.”

Over half as many respondents, 29 per cent, said the current provincial “government has done a good job and deserves re-election.”

Those results showed a marked improvement for BC Liberal leader Christy Clark and the Liberals, with the number of voters hoping for another party to take over the government dropping by five points since the last poll.

But the race between BC NDP leader John Horgan and Clark is closest when it comes to which leader would make the best premier. Just a three-point difference separates the two, with Clark in the lead.

Most notable is the rise of BC Green leader Andrew Weaver and the BC Greens over the last several weeks. Fifteen per cent of respondents said Weaver would make the best premier, giving him a four-point boost over April’s poll.

But if British Columbians were to put their bet on which government would take office on May 9, the Liberals come out on top with 35 per cent. The NDP made large gains over the previous poll in that category, up seven points to 29 per cent.

As for which issues people believe deserve the greatest attention from the party leaders, health care tops the list (36 per cent), followed by housing affordability (32 per cent) and jobs and employment (19 per cent).

Horgan was chosen as most capable at tackling health care (35 per cent compared to Clark’s 22 per cent) and housing affordability (35 per cent compared to Clark’s 17 per cent).

Clark  and the Liberals are rewarded for consistently pushing jobs during campaign stops, earning the place of best party to take on jobs and employment (33 per cent over Horgan’s 27 per cent).

Economy (16 per cent) and social issues, like poverty and homelessness, (15 per cent) rounded out the top five most important issues. Of the five issues, respondents only preferred Clark over Horgan on the issues of jobs/employment and economy.

The tightness of the election race is most clearly shown by which candidate respondents felt won the televised debate on April 27.

Each candidate earned exactly 25 per cent of the vote.

Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” This poll was conducted between April 27 and 30, 2017 with a sample of 834 British Columbians.

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.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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