Big bump in approval for B.C. premier amid COVID-19 response, poll suggests

Premier John Horgan is joined by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix as they discuss reopening the province's economy in phases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

More than seven in 10 British Coumbians approve of the job Premier John Horgan is doing, according to a new poll.

The Angus Reid Institute survey also found that Horgan has benefited from a large bump in support — from 46 per cent to 71 per cent coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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B.C. having success against COVID-19, but state of emergency extended – May 27, 2020

The poll’s authors note Horgan’s approval had slumped in February during the Wet’suwet’en crisis.

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The approval rating is the highest Horgan has scored in an Angus Reid Institute since taking office. An Ipsos poll in April found 83 per cent of respondents approved of Horgan’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Angus Reid Institute

Horgan and Ontario premier Doug Ford were nearly tied for support in the new poll, despite the two provinces wildly different experiences managing the coronavirus.

Daily new cases in B.C. have dropped to single digits with a death toll of just 167, while Ontario continues to average 300-plus new cases a day and has seen more than 2,100 deaths.

Angus Reid Institute

Horgan is the third most popular premier in the country, according to the poll, after New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs (80 per cent) and Quebec’s Francois Legault (77 per cent), despite his province being Canada’s coronavirus hot spot.

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The only two premiers who rated poorly for their leadership through the crisis were Alberta’s Jason Kenney and Manitoba’s Brian Pallister, both of whom earned approval ratings below 50 per cent.

This Angus Reid Institute poll was an randomized online survey of 5,001 Canadians who are members of Angus Reid Forum, conducted between May. 19-24. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 per cent, 19 times out of
20. The British Columbia sample would carry a margin of error of plus or minus four per cent.