Federal Conservatives Drop, NDP and Liberals Gain in British Columbia

Residents give the federal government low ratings on the environment, accountability and poverty.

Vancouver, BC – The Conservative Party has lost support since the last federal election in British Columbia, while two opposition parties have improved, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative provincial sample shows that, if a federal election were held tomorrow, 35% of decided voters in British Columbia would cast a ballot for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in their constituency, followed by the governing Conservative Party with 29%, the Liberal Party with 25%, and the Green Party with 10%.

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The NDP is clearly ahead among female voters in British Columbia (40%, with the Conservatives and Liberals tied at 25%), while the Tories hold a four-point edge over the New Democrats among male voters (34% to 30%).

Among British Columbian voters aged 18 to 34, the NDP is also in first place (42%), while the race is definitely closer among voters aged 35 to 54 (31% for the NDP, 30% for the Conservatives and 28% for the Liberals). Voters aged 55 and over are virtually tied in their preference for the Conservatives (36%) and the NDP (34%), with the Liberals a distant third (19%).

In Metro Vancouver, Tories and New Democrats are tied at 32%, with the Liberals at 27%. The Green Party reaches 20% on Vancouver Island, essentially tied with the Liberals (19%) but way behind the NDP (47%).

Across British Columbia, just over a third of residents (35%) approve of the performance of Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper, while a majority (58%) disapprove.

Official Opposition and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair currently holds the best approval numbers (52%), followed by Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau (46%) and Green Party leader Elizabeth May (44%).

Mulcair also posted a positive momentum score of +10 (20% of residents say their opinion of him has improved over the past six months, while 10% say it has worsened). May also has good momentum numbers (+4), while Trudeau and Harper posted negative ratings (-12 and -44 respectively).

When asked who would make the Best Prime Minister of Canada, Harper is in first place with 27%, followed by Mulcair with 22%, Trudeau with 19% and May with 6%.

“The voting numbers point to an erosion of Conservative support among key demographics, particularly voters over the age of 55,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “While Mulcair is currently the federal leader with the best momentum and approval numbers, he still trails Harper when British Columbians consider who the best head of government would be.”

Issues and the Government

British Columbians identify the economy and jobs as the most important issue facing Canada (30%), followed by government accountability (22%), health care (15%), housing, poverty and homelessness (12%) and the environment (8%).

When asked to rate the way Harper and the federal Conservatives have handled eight issues, residents provide the best ratings on the economy and jobs (42%), foreign affairs (also 42%) and crime and public safety (38%).

Only 30% of British Columbians endorse the way the federal government is handling energy and pipelines, while the rating is lower for health care (27%), the environment (24%), government accountability (19%) and housing, poverty and homelessness (17%)

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 and has fifteen full-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 7 to May 9, 2015, among 814 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 +/- 3.1 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: David Russo