VANCOUVER -- Men are much more likely than women to support a quick reopening of the B.C. economy in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new survey.

Research Co.'s poll found just over half of British Columbian men favour a quick restart to "ensure that no more jobs are lost" due to the pandemic, while the other half said the economy should be reopened slowly to keep the caseload low.

By comparison, only 20 per cent of women said the restart should be done quickly, with 64 per cent favouring a slower approach.

"This is one of the biggest gender gaps that we've seen over the last few months," Research Co. president Mario Canseco told CTV Morning Live on Thursday. "There's definitely more appetite from women to stay home, to take it easy, to take it slowly."

Pollsters also found there was stronger support for a cautious reopening among younger British Columbians aged 18 to 34 and older residents who are 55 and up. Respondents in the 35 to 54 age range were more likely to favour a quick restart.

"Finally we've found an issue where millennials and Baby Boomers are in agreement," Canseco said.

When it comes to the provincial government's actual plans, which will allow restaurants, salons and other businesses to gradually begin reopening this month, the poll found broad support from all demographics.

A whopping 72 per cent of the British Columbians surveyed said they either strongly approve or moderately approve of the province's plans, compared to just 20 per cent who disapprove. The last eight per cent said they weren't sure.

Canseco noted there was majority support across all income levels, geographic regions, ages and political leanings.

"There's a very high level of support for what the government wants to do," he said. "What's interesting here is there's no political divide – whether you voted for the Liberals, the NDP or the Greens, you believe that this is the right course of action."

Research Co. conducted its survey online from May 8 to 11 among 800 B.C. adults, and statistically weighted the data according to Canadian census figures. The results carry a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.