With just a day to go before British Columbians head out to vote, a final exclusive CKNW/ Global News poll finds the BC NDP and BC Liberal party just a hair apart in support.
The survey, conducted by Ipsos both by telephone and online, found among decided voters the NDP has a slight advantage with 40 per cent support to the BC Liberals’ 39 per cent.
That result has the NDP down one point from the last Ipsos poll in the wake of the televised leaders’ debate, and the BC Liberals down four points.
The Greens trail with 17 per cent support, up three points from the previous poll.
The number of British Columbians who say they’re undecided has narrowed somewhat to 16 per cent, but leaves plenty of room for the race to break either way.
Regionally, the poll finds the NDP leading in Metro Vancouver by five points, with 44 per cent compared to 39 per cent for the Liberals and 15 per cent for the Greens.
In the Interior and North, the Liberals hold a substantial lead, up 12 points, with 46 per cent support compared to 34 for the NDP, and the Greens trailing at 16 per cent.
On the Island, the numbers differ significantly from other recent polls. It finds the NDP with a solid lead there, racking up 40 per cent support compared to just 28 per cent for the Greens and 27 per cent for the Liberals.
Decision B.C. – Battleground: Saanich North and the Islands
Assessing the leaders
The Ipsos poll suggests British Columbians’ appetite for change has grown since its last survey, with six in ten people saying it’s time for a new party to lead in Victoria, up seven points. Three in ten say Christy Clark deserves another turn as premier.
Yet Clark still leads when voters were asked which party leader would make the best premier. Thirty-three per cent chose her, versus 27 per cent for the NDP’s John Horgan, and 21 per cent for Andrew Weaver.
Respondents found Clark and the BC Liberals best equipped to lead on jobs and the economy, and Weaver and the Greens best suited to handle the environment.
John Horgan and the NDP got top marks on four out of the five issues British Columbians ranked as most important to them, including health care, housing affordability, education, and social issues.
Clark was rated most capable and most tough, while Horgan was rated most relatable, honest, and caring.
Thirty-two per cent of respondents said health care was the top issue in the campaign, followed by 26 per cent who said housing affordability. Sixteen per cent said jobs, while 11 per cent said the economy.
Crunching the numbers
The poll finds the BC Liberals lead with older voters, up six points among those 55 and older, while the NDP has a significant advantage among young voters leading the 18-34 category by nine points.
It also finds Green support to be the softest, with only 55 per cent of supporters saying their mind is fully made up, compared to 67 per cent of BC Liberal supporters and 65 per cent of NDP supporters.
That could be good news for New Democrats, with Green voters preferring the NDP as a second choice by a wide margin.
The BC Liberals have an eight point lead among men, while the NDP are preferred by women by a margin of 10 per cent.
More than one quarter of respondents now say they expect “some other outcome” than a BC Liberal or BC NDP majority, while a third expect a Liberal majority and a quarter think the NDP will win a majority.
The numbers are so tight, Ipsos says the deciding factor may come down to who can best turn out their vote.
The pollsters suggest that in the 2013 election BC Liberal voters, fearing an NDP majority, were more motivated to make it to the polls — and says a low voter turnout will likely favour that party.
The poll spoke to 1,404 British Columbians, and included online interviews, along with both landline and cell phone interviews and is considered accurate to within +/- 3.0 per cent 19 times out of 20.