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BC NDP on track to form majority government, final poll before election suggests

Click to play video 'The BC NDP hold a commanding lead in final pre-election polls' The BC NDP hold a commanding lead in final pre-election polls
The BC NDP hold a commanding lead in final pre-election polls. – Oct 23, 2020

John Horgan is on his way to becoming the first sitting BC NDP premier to win re-election, a new poll released just before election day suggests.

A new Ipsos poll commissioned by Global News finds 51 per cent of decided voters plan on voting for the NDP, 34 per cent for the BC Liberals and 12 per cent for the BC Greens.

The 17-point lead for the NDP has remained consistent from the start to the finish of the campaign.

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Going to the polls in the time of COVID – Oct 22, 2020

The NDP leads by a substantial margin in both seat-rich Metro Vancouver and among high-turnout older voters.

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Read more: B.C. election: NDP makes push in opponents’ ridings in the final days of campaign

“It was never close,” Ipsos vide president Kyle Braid said in a press release.

“These results exclude the nearly two-in-ten British Columbians who are undecided or express no preference.”

The poll shows the NDP is expected to pick up seats in every region of the province. The party leading by 28 points on Vancouver Island, 21 points in Metro Vancouver and by three points in the Southern Interior/North.

With 54 per cent of Metro Vancouver choosing the NDP, there could be an orange wave sweeping through ridings like Vancouver-Langara where the party has never won before.

The Greens are strongest on Vancouver Island, where they sit third with 20 per cent support.

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BC Liberal leader releases election platform as polls show party trailing – Oct 13, 2020

The NDP leads by a wide margin across all age groups, including by 14-points among traditionally higher turnout voters 55 years old and older. The NDP have a substantial 26-point lead among women, leading 56 per cent to 30 per cent, according to the poll.

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Based on the polling data it is hard to determine how the Greens will do. The party is behind the province-wide 16.8 per cent it received in 2017, but has focused the campaign more on the seats where they have a legitimate chance.

The party’s leader Sonia Furstenau has made a positive impression on voters during the campaign, the poll suggests, with 27 per cent voters having improved impressions compared to only 10 per cent with worsened impressions.

The results for John Horgan and the NDP are generally neutral, with 18 per cent improved impressions versus 19 per cent worsened impressions.

The most negative impressions are for Andrew Wilkinson and the BC Liberals, with only 14 per cent improved impressions compared to 34 per cent worsened impressions.

As for who would make the best premier, Horgan is the choice of 45 per cent of those polled while Wilkinson is the choice of 17 per cent. Furstenau is up eight points to 14 per cent compared to past polls.

More than one million voters have already cast their ballot, with nearly 400,000 mail-in ballots returned and 681,055 votes cast in advance.

Click to play video 'BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau on final campaign drive before this week’s election' BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau on final campaign drive before this week’s election
BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau on final campaign drive before this week’s election – Oct 21, 2020

The advance votes will be counted alongside the votes on election day.

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Decided in-person voters favour the NDP by 11 points (48 per cent NDP, 37 per cent Liberals, 12 per cent Greens).

The mail-in ballots, which will be counted at the earliest 13 days after election day, are expected to overwhelmingly favour the BC NDP. The poll suggests 57 per cent of mail-in voters support the NDP, 29 per cent the Liberals and 13 per cent the Greens.

“This means that what is reported on election day could shift a few points toward the NDP when the mail-in votes are counted,” Braid said.

“Of course, this shift will not be the same on a riding-by-riding basis.”

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll of 1,502 British Columbians conducted October 19 to 22, 2020.  In this case, the overall poll is accurate to within +/- 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible voters been polled.