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B.C. Premier John Horgan’s approval rating soars to record levels amid pandemic: poll

Premier John Horgan showing how he wears a BC Lions mask during a Global BC Facebook Live.
Premier John Horgan showing how he wears a BC Lions mask during a Global BC Facebook Live. Global BC

British Columbians are overwhelmingly supportive of the work Premier John Horgan is doing to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

According to the Insights West poll, 68 per cent of respondents approved of the work Horgan is doing, up 17 points from the last poll. Support for the B.C. NDP has risen to 47 per cent, an increase of 12 points.

“The government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has apparently resulted in a massive increase in approval ratings for the BC NDP and Premier John Horgan,” Insights West said in a release.

Insights West goes on to say Horgan’s approval rating is the highest of any B.C. political leader since they began tracking eight years ago.

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

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According to those polled, the COVID-19 crisis is the number one issue facing British Columbians right now, with 32 per cent choosing it as the most important issue facing the province.

The government’s handling of the pandemic received sky-high approval levels from those polled, with 85 per cent thinking the government has done a good job of combating the virus.

Housing prices, listed by 13 per cent of respondents, is the second-most pressing issue, ending a five-year run at the top of the list.

Premier Horgan approval rating goes up
Premier Horgan approval rating goes up

Housing prices are still the top concern among residents aged 18 to 34, with 24 per cent in that demographic listing it as a top concern.

Horgan has said repeatedly he has no plans on triggering an election this year. But doing so could be electorally beneficial. Based on the polling data, the B.C. New Democrats would win a majority government in the next election.

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Read more: B.C. gives Horgan poor marks on handling of pipeline dispute, according to poll

“These approval ratings could translate into a landslide victory for Horgan when we go to the polls,” the release reads.

“In fact, if an election were held right now, the NDP would receive 47 per cent of the decided popular vote primarily at the expense of other parties which have seen their support diminish since the start of the pandemic.”

According to the poll, BC Liberal voting intentions have dropped to 29 per cent, the lowest total since the 2017 provincial election. The Greens have also dropped to 11 per cent. The poll includes the BC Conservatives, who were named by 12 per cent of those polls as their choice in the next election.

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has seen his personal approval dropped five points to 30 per cent. Interim Green leader Adam Olsen has made his debut at a 29 per cent approval, the lowest result of any Green leader in an Insights West poll since the 2017 election.

“Perhaps some consolation for the opposition parties is the fact that the undecided vote is particularly high at 23 per cent right now, as the election race is far from the top of the public agenda,” the release reads.

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The results are based on an online study conducted from June 24 to 28, 2020 among a sample of 830 B.C. residents. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.