Strong polling numbers may tempt NDP to early election
Premier John Horgan is the most popular premier in the country with a 69 per cent approval rating and 48 per cent of British Columbians would vote NDP if an election were called tomorrow, according to polling from Angus Reid.
In contrast, just 29 per cent of respondents said they plan to cast a ballot for the BC Liberals and 14 per cent are on board for the BC Greens.
The NDP’s lead is even more stark in Metro Vancouver, where 53 per cent of respondents said they would vote orange — twice the 26 per cent who would vote Liberal.
An analysis from the Angus Reid Institute suggests that an early election may look like “quite the irresistible opportunity” to the NDP, but notes “against these sunny skies, dark clouds are forming on the horizon” in the form of steadily rising Covid numbers and back-to-school battles with teachers.
Approval for the NDP government’s response to the Covid pandemic was 83 per cent at the end of August when the poll was conducted — down slightly from a high of 87 per cent in late May.
British Columbians were less enthused on the government’s response to the overdose crisis with just 22 per cent expressing approval. Housing affordability, poverty and homelessness are also weak spots, according to the poll, with less than one-quarter of respondents expressing support for the government’s response to those issues.
More than one-third of respondents told the pollster they would be “uncomfortable” heading to the polling station this fall due to the pandemic, further complicating the allure of a snap vote.
Horgan has refused to kibosh the idea of a fall election, noting more than once that he is leading a minority government.