With a little more than two weeks to go in British Columbia's election campaign, polls continue to find a large lead for John Horgan and the BC NDP.
A new poll released Thursday by Research Co. finds 48 per cent of decided voters in B.C. saying they would cast their ballot for a New Democrat if the election were held tomorrow.
That's an increase of four percentage points from where the NDP stood in Research Co.'s late-September survey.
It's also a 12-point lead over the BC Liberals, who would earn the votes of 36 per cent of decided voters if the election were tomorrow. The BC Green Party stands at 13 per cent in the poll, while the BC Conservative Party claims two per cent of vote intention.
The NDP leads the Liberals by nine percentage points among male decided voters (47% to 38%) and by nearly twice as much among female decided voters (49% to 33%).
The New Democrats also lead by at least 10 percentage points among all age groups, according to Research Co.'s poll. That said, it's worth noting that the BC Liberals lead the NDP in all regions of the province outside of Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, though regional sample sizes are significantly smaller and carry larger margins of error than the overall sample. Detailed tables of the poll's results can be found here.
Speaking to CTV Morning Live on Thursday, Research Co. president Mario Canseco attributed the NDP's popularity in large part to the popularity of its leader.
John Horgan holds the approval of 65 per cent of likely voters in B.C., according to the poll. That's a significantly higher approval rating than BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson at 40 per cent and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau at 33 per cent.
"It's one of the reasons why we're having this election right now in the first place: people are satisfied with the way in which the COVID-19 pandemic has been handled, and this is one of the reasons for his numbers to be that high," Canseco said. "So, if he continues to connect emotionally on that file, he will do very well."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, likely B.C. voters are also more likely to say Horgan is their preferred premier for the province. Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) choose Horgan, compared to 27 per cent who choose Wilkinson and 6 per cent who choose Furstenau.
Similarly, Horgan is seen as the best leader to deal with all but one of the top five issues facing the province, according to likely voters.
Those issues are "housing, poverty and homelessness," "the economy and jobs," health care, COVID-19, and the environment. More likely voters see Horgan as best-suited to deal with each of those issues, except the environment, on which Furstenau leads.
The poll was conducted online from Oct. 5 to 7 among 750 likely voters in B.C. The sample included 698 voters who said they have already decided who to support in the 2020 election. Research Co. says the margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points for the likely voters sample and plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for the decided voters sample, 19 times out of 20.