Horgan's NDP has extended its lead over BC Liberals, poll suggests

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Published March 25, 2019 9:59 p.m. ET
British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday March 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

New poll results suggest Premier John Horgan's New Democrats have widened their lead over the Liberals "and would be close to winning a majority if an election were held today."

Data released Monday by Mainstreet Research shows that 39 per cent of decided and leaning voters polled said they supported the NDP, while only 32.4 per cent said they favoured Andrew Wilkinson's Liberals.

The results are from what Mainstreet calls an "UltraPoll" – the combined of the results from 10 provincial surveys.

“This is the first time that we have seen some distance between the NDP and the BC Liberals beyond the margin of error in some time,” Mainstreet President and CEO Quito Maggi said in a statement.

“The good news continues for John Horgan after the NDP win in the Nanaimo byelection as both his favourability numbers and his party numbers are up since the beginning of the year.”

Among decided and leaning voters, support for the NDP was greatest on Vancouver Island (47.8 per cent) and Metro Vancouver (40.9 per cent), while the party was behind the Liberals by nearly six per cent among those polled in B.C.'s Interior.

Support for the New Democrats was evenly split among age groups and sexes, although the NDP was most popular among women and those aged 18-34.

In the UltraPoll results, the Green Party had support from 13.3 per cent of those surveyed, while the Conservatives only had 12.1.

Maggi said those results aren't unheard of in cases where a minority government is being propped up by another party the way the NDP is being supported by the Greens.

“Usually when a government is being propped up by a third party in a minority situation, they siphon off support from that third party,” he said.

“It happened (to) the Ontario NDP after they propped up the Liberals in 1985. It happened when Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrats went from coalition partner to being decimated in the 2015 U.K. general election, and it’s now happening to Andrew Weaver.”

Mainstreet surveyed 923 British Columbians between March 20 and 21. The results of the poll carry a margin of error of 3.23 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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