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BC United falls to 4th place in polls, Conservatives narrow gap with NDP

A view from above the B.C. legislature at Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito A view from above the B.C. legislature at Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
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With less than four months until B.C.'s provincial election, the current official opposition has fallen to fourth place, a recent poll from Research Co. revealed.

According to results of the survey, released Tuesday, just 11 per cent of decided voters would cast a ballot for the BC United candidate in their riding, if the election was held today. That puts them behind the BC Green Party, which came in third at 15 per cent.

"I don't think they imagined a scenario, when they rebranded, that they were going to be in fourth place behind the Greens," Research Co. president, Mario Canseco, told CTV Morning Live on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the gap between the governing NDP and the BC Conservatives narrowed in the latest poll, with just seven percentage points between the two parties.

"It's definitely a situation that is different from what we envisioned a year ago. We saw the Conservatives sort of maybe with a chance of climbing the charts, maybe becoming the official opposition," Canseco said, explaining 40 per cent of decided voters would cast a ballot for the NDP, with 33 per cent saying they would vote for the BC Conservatives.

"A seven-point lead means that the election is going to be close and the summer is going to be crucial for the conservatives to finish their slate and try to connect with those voters who don't know who they are."

Crisis management?

When it comes to key issues voters are concerned about, housing remained top-of-mind in Research Co.'s latest poll.

Canseco explained that, in 2008 or 2009, housing was a primary concern for about seven or eight per cent of voters. This year, it's the key issue for 40 per cent.

"What's really impressive is it's happening all over the place. This used to be a Metro Vancouver phenomenon," Canseco said. "Now if you're southern B.C., northern B.C., the island, the Fraser Valley, you're thinking about housing as your number one issue. It's no longer millennials complaining about not getting into the market, it's everyone."

While Conservatives may be inching closer to NDP in general voting preferences, those polled chose Premier David Eby as someone who could manage key issues over BC Conservative Leader John Rustad. Twenty-six per cent said they felt Eby is "best suited" to deal with housing, while Rustad came in second at 15 per cent.

About a quarter of those polled, however, said they didn't know.

"So you still have a lot of people who are trying to figure out who's going to solve this crisis," Canseco said.

Eby also topped the results when a question was posed about who would make the "best premier," with 28 per cent. Rustad came in second with 14 per cent, Falcon got 13 per cent and BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau had 11 per cent.

"If John Rustad manages to climb the charts on this particular question, over the next three or four months, we could be heading to an election as close as the one we had in 2017," Canseco said.

B.C.'s election is scheduled for Oct. 19.

Results of Research Co.'s latest poll are based on an online study conducted from June 17 to June 19, 2024, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

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