No, it’s not an April Fools’ joke.
The B.C. Green Party is contending for first place on Vancouver Island according to a new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll.
Across the whole province, the latest numbers have the BC NDP leading among all voters at 29 per cent, with the BC Liberals’ trailing at 25 per cent, followed by the Greens at 14 per cent. The leaderless BC Conservatives trail at nine per cent.
But with one in four voters undecided, that means there’s lots of room for the race to break either way.
Take those on-the-fence voters out of the equation and it’s 36 per cent NDP, 34 per cent Liberal and 19 per cent Green.
Speaking on CKNW Weekend with Tim Dickert, Mainstreet Executive Vice-President David Valentin says that’s a six per cent jump from last week, and could herald the party becoming a real factor in key races.
“So if they’re able to keep this momentum going, and get into the mid-20’s, a lot of new people are going to give them a look because they’re gooing to be competitive in the Lower Mainland and there are so many competitive seats there that that could make a big difference in the election campaign.”
Voter preferences across BC (click for detail)
LISTEN: David Valentin, Executive Vice-President of Mainstreet Research talks through the latest numbers
But while the Greens are still looking to crack the 20 per cent mark in Metro Vancouver, on Vancouver Island, where party leader Andrew Weaver’s Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding is found, it’s a different story.
Among all voters, the Greens actually have the lead at 25 per cent, with the NDP at 22 per cent, and the Liberals at 20 per cent.
Remove the whopping 28 per cent of undecided voters and that equation changes.
Among decided and leaning voters, the Greens and Liberals are locked at 32 per cent, with the NDP trailing at 28 per cent.
Voter preferences on Vancouver Island (click for detail)
While those numbers might be music to Green supporters’ ears, the picture isn’t all rosy for the party.
While nearly three-quarters of BC Liberal and two-thirds of NDP supporters rate their backing as “strong,” 45 per cent of Green supporters say they could change their mind or aren’t sure.
The poll also adds some credence to the theory that the NDP and Greens are each others’ worst enemies: 49 per cent of NDP voters chose the Greens as their second choice, while 53 per cent of Greens indicated they like the NDP second best.
But with 18 per cent of Liberal voters also indicating they could go green, Valentin says the Liberals should also be looking over their shoulder.
“And what’s really interesting to me is that we saw Christy Clark and the Liberal party begin to criticize the Green party at the end of this week, you know, they went after the Green Party for their Agricultural announcement. So now it’s not just the NDP who are criticizing the Green Party, but the Liberals, and that tells me that maybe they are beginning to steal some Liberal voters away.”
The poll also touched base with BC Conservative voters, asking them what they’ll do if the party fields no candidates in their riding. So far, just six of 87 slots have been filled.
Eleven per cent said they’d vote for the Liberals, while 20 per cent would go NDP, followed by nine percent who’d vote Green. 37 per cent say they’re undecided, and 23 per cent say they’ll stay home.
With files from Michelle Morton