B.C. Election 2017: Race ‘too close to call’ according to new Ipsos poll

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‘Too close to call’ 2017 B.C. election: New poll
WATCH: Kyle Braid from Ipsos Reid sits down with Sonia Sunger to look at the results of an exclusive poll released one day before the B.C. election campaign ends. The poll finds it's a close race – May 8, 2017

A new poll released a day before the B.C. provincial election says the race between the BC Liberals and BC NDP is “too close to call.”

An Ipsos poll has the NDP with 40 per cent of the vote and the Liberals with 39 per cent, calling the race a “statistical dead heat.”

FULL COVERAGE: B.C. election 2017

Both the Liberals and NDP showed declines in popularity since the last Ipsos poll on May 1, while the BC Greens are up three points to 17 per cent support.

Sixteen per cent of respondents remained undecided or did not have an opinion.

“The biggest factor on Election Day (and advance polls) is which voters actually turn up to cast their ballot. With more than four-in-10 voters choosing to abstain in the past few B.C. elections, this can have a substantial impact on the results,” Ipsos said in a news release.

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In 2013 it was clear that BC Liberals, fearing an NDP victory, turned out, while NDP voters, especially younger NDP voters, did not. Our current vote turnout model suggests that the BC Liberals will benefit from a lower voter turnout and that the popular vote remains close as turnout goes up.”

The poll asked respondents whether it was time for another party to take over, or if the Christy Clark Liberal government had done a good job and deserved to be re-elected. Results showed less support for Clark with 58 per cent of votes calling for another party, up seven points from last week’s poll.

While most of the poll results showed a tight race between the Liberals and NDP, respondents tended to believe the Liberals have a better chance of winning the election.

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Thirty-four per cent of respondents said a Liberal majority government is the most likely outcome of Tuesday’s election, whereas 26 per cent predicted an NDP majority and another 26 per cent predicted “some other outcome.”

The latter option — something other than an NDP or Liberal majority — has become more popular over the election campaign, growing eight points since last week.

The race between NDP leader John Horgan and Clark is widening when it comes to which leader would make the best premier. A six point difference separates the leaders, up three points since last week, 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. Twenty-one per cent of respondents said Weaver would make the best premier, giving him a six-point boost over last week’s poll and a 10-point lead over April 11’s poll.

As for which issues people believe deserve the greatest attention from the party leaders, health care tops the list (32 per cent), followed by housing affordability (26 per cent) and education (19 per cent).

Horgan was chosen as most capable at tackling health care (35 per cent compared to Clark’s 23 per cent) housing affordability (33 per cent compared to Clark’s 18 per cent) and education (33 per cent to Clark’s 23 per cent).

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Jobs and employment (16 per cent) and social issues, like poverty and homelessness, (14 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.

The issues respondents reported as being least important included natural resource development (three per cent), crime and justice (four per cent) and pipelines (five per cent).

As to how each leader is perceived, the poll found Clark to be the least honest, least trustworthy, least caring and least relatable, but also the toughest, smartest and most capable.

Horgan was found to be the least likeable, but also the most caring, most honest and relatable.

Respondents said Weaver was the most trustworthy and likeable, but the least capable, least smart and least tough of all the leaders.

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.”

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These are the findings of an Ipsos/ Global BC / CKNW poll of 1,404 British Columbians conducted May 4-6, 2017. The poll was conducted using a blended methodology, including 902 online interviews via the Ipsos I-Say Panel and 502 telephone interviews (live interviews, including 40 per cent by cellphone). These data were statistically weighted by region, age, gender, education and data collection methodology to ensure the sample composition reflects that of the actual B.C. 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 +/ – 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible voters been polled. Some of the questions were asked only of online respondents. The result for these questions is accurate to within +/ – 3.7 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.

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