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NDP lead ‘sustained, substantial’ in B.C.’s ‘shifting political landscape’: poll

Premier David Eby’s party with 43 per cent, Conservative of B.C. with 26 per cent
Housing is the most important among decided voters, according to a new Leger poll that shows B.C. NDP with a “sustained, substantial lead” with 43 per cent and the Conservative Party of B.C. at 26 per cent. (Black Press Media file photo)

The B.C. NDP under Premier David Eby enjoys what a new Leger poll calls a “sustained, substantial lead” heading into this year’s provincial election as the political landscape continues to shift.

Provincial New Democrats would receive 43 per cent of decided votes, followed by the Conservative Party of B.C. under John Rustad with 26 per cent and B.C. United under Kevin Falcon with 18 per cent. B.C. Greens under Sonia Furstenau would receive 11 per cent.

“This (figure of 43 per cent) reflects a stable support base, despite the increase in vote share from the B.C. Conservatives,” it reads. B.C. United, meanwhile, faces what the poll calls a “formidable challenge” as the party tries to recover second place from the provincial Conservatives, who have seen “a notable surge.”

This surge suggests a “shifting political landscape” in B.C.

New Democrats lead in Metro Vancouver (42 per cent), Vancouver Island (46 per cent) and the rest of B.C. (44 per cent). But the Conservatives are now polling ahead of B.C. United in Metro Vancouver (28 per cent to 19 per cent) and are in second place everywhere except for Vancouver Island, where B.C. United is ahead by three points for second place. Vancouver Island is also the strongest region for B.C. Greens with 14 per cent.

Eby remains the most popular of the four leaders with an approval rating of 46 per cent, not much lower than when he became premier in late 2022. Furstenau is the second most popular leader with 30 per cent, followed by Falcon (29 per cent) and Rustad (27 per cent).

RELATED: New B.C. poll sees NDP in the lead, Conservatives surging within 6 points

More than one in four surveyed voters (26 per cent) identify housing as the most important issue followed by health care (20 per cent) and inflation (15 per cent).

Housing is especially significant among British Columbians aged 18 to 34 with 38 per cent among that age considering it the most important issue. Health care, meanwhile, is the top issue among individuals 55 years or older (33 per cent) while inflation (18 per cent) is the top issue among individuals aged 35 to 54.

Issues considered less important include environment and climate change (five per cent) and crime (four per cent). About one per cent consider wildfires to be the most pressing issue, while a cultural issue like systemic racism is considered to be the most important issue by less than one per cent.

The high relevance of inflation and the low relevance of climate change may also explain 52 per cent of surveyed British Columbians support the federal Conservatives’ proposal to ‘axe’ the carbon tax. Three out of 10 oppose Pierre Poilievre’s campaign, another 15 per cent expressed no position.

Opposition to the carbon tax is the lowest in Metro Vancouver, followed by Vancouver Island and the rest of B.C. where 43 per cent support the so-called Axe The Tax proposal. Men older than 35 are also more likely to support plans to eliminate the carbon tax.