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Early election for B.C.? Nope, says Eby, despite poll suggesting residents expect one this year

Premier David Eby is shutting down election speculation even as a new survey suggests many British Columbians think we may be heading to the polls this year.

The Research Co. poll shows 53 per cent of those surveyed think it's very or moderately likely we may be headed for a provincial election this year. Most people asked thought an NDP majority was likely. Roughly 20 percent of respondents were undecided.

Research Co. conducted the online study from Feb. 4 to 6 among 800 adults in British Columbia. The margin of error — or the variability — is +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

This comes as the B.C. Liberals – soon to be B.C. United – are catching up to the NDP in terms of political contributions and fundraising. From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022, Elections BC reported the Liberals raised $1,182,262.14 compared to the NDP's $1,298,837.30. That's a closer margin than has been seen for years.

Liberal leader Kevin Falcon told CTV News "the phones have been ringing off the hook," ever since Eby took office. He said he didn't think a snap election was likely.

"David Eby has been very definitive this time around that if he was to break his word it would really come down to a question of trust and integrity," said Falcon, setting the stage for an attack if an early election were to be called.

Yet governments do have a history of calling elections when it's in their best political interests, despite a fixed election law in B.C.

Former premier John Horgan denied for months he was going to call an election during the pandemic, and then he did.

On Wednesday, Eby once again denied he was looking to call an election, citing issues like housing, affordability, and health care as more pressing issues for voters.

"They want our government to take action, they've not said to me they want an election. We'll continue to work on those priorities for British Columbians and we have a fixed election where they'll have an opportunity to weigh in on what we've done," said Eby.

If the NDP thinks the Liberals are gaining ground, that may build the case for an early election. So far, polls don't seem to be suggesting that, but as those in politics like to say, the only poll that matters is the one on election day. The next provincial general election is scheduled for the fall of 2024. Top Stories

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