Housing Still Top of Mind as British Columbians Ponder Political Choices

The governing BC Liberals gain 30 points in six months on their handling of foreign ownership in housing.

Vancouver, BC – More residents of British Columbia continue to look at housing, poverty and homelessness as the most important issues facing the province, the Insights West “BC Government Report Card” conducted in partnership with Business in Vancouver has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbian adults, three-in-ten residents (29%, +7 since May 2016) think housing, poverty and homelessness is the most pressing concern in the province—ahead of health care (18%, +1) and the economy and jobs (17%, -3).

 


Issues and Governance

Almost half of British Columbians (46%, +7) believe the provincial government has done a good job dealing with the economy and jobs, while two-in-five are satisfied with how Victoria is handling crime and public safety (39%, +5).

More than a quarter of residents are also content with the work the provincial government has done on the environment (33%, +1), energy, pipelines and LNG (31%, +3), business taxes and red tape (29%, +2) education (27%, +3), the shortage of skilled workers (26%, -2), and health care (also 26%, =).

The provincial government once again has its lowest rankings on accountability (22%, +1) and housing, poverty and homelessness (19%, +4).

The most popular decisions taken by the provincial administration are implementing changes to legislation related to the sale of alcohol (45%, -2), handling issues related to foreign ownership in housing (41%, +30), pushing for the development of LNG (39%, +4), handling relations with BC’s First Nations (37%, +4) and taking action to reduce BC’s greenhouse gas emissions (34%, +6).

The rating is lower for dealing with the Northern Gateway Pipeline (31%, +4), managing BC Hydro (30%, +2), dealing with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline (29%, +5), dealing with the proposed Site C dam in Peace River (also 29%) and managing BC Ferries (25%, +6).

Just one-in-five British Columbians are satisfied with how the provincial government is managing TransLink (21%, +5) and dealing with questions related to political fundraising (19%, +3).

“There is clear improvement for the provincial government on its handling of the economy and jobs,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “The change on the issue of foreign ownership in housing is exceptional, with the provincial government improving its standing in May by thirty points.”

Politics

More than a third of British Columbians (37%, +3) currently approve of the performance of Premier and BC Liberals leader Christy Clark, while three-in-five (58%, -1) disapprove.

The approval rating for opposition and BC New Democratic Party (NDP) leader John Horgan improved slightly to 42% (+2), but 32% (+3) disapprove of how he is handling his duties. The rating for Green Party leader Andrew Weaver stands at 33% (+1), with 46% of British Columbians undecided.

Two-in-five British Columbians (41%) say their opinion of Clark has worsened over the past six months, giving her a net momentum score of -34. On this indicator, Horgan is at -4 and Weaver at -1.

When it comes to voting intention, six months before the next provincial ballot, the BC NDP and the BC Liberals are statistically tied (40% to 39%) among decided voters, with the BC Green Party at 14% (=) and the leaderless BC Conservatives with 5% (-5).

The New Democrats continue to be ahead among women (46%) and voters aged 18-to-34 (47%), while the BC Liberals are particularly popular among male voters (50%) and voters aged 55+ (44%).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

Most of our surveys are conducted through our Your Insights panel. The Your Insights panel is comprised of 30,000 Canadians who share their opinions on a variety of political, economic, social and other issues while earning the opportunity to get paid and win great prizes. If you’re interested in joining, please register at yourinsights.ca.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 18 to November 21, 2016, among 806 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: Ruth Hartnup