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British Columbians still getting to know party leaders: Poll

As British Columbians prepare for the 41st provincial election, an Insights West poll conducted for Vancouver Magazine asked about specific character traits from the three main party leaders.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 23% of residents considered BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to be “the most authentic”, followed by BC New Democratic Party (NDP) leader John Horgan with 20%, and Premier and BC Liberals leader Christy Clark with 12%.

Horgan is slightly ahead of Weaver on being trustworthy (21% to 19%, with Clark at 13%), and is regarded by one-in-four British Columbians (25%) as the most likely to keep promises to the electorate.

There is no clear advantage for any of the three politicians on being the one British Columbians would be more likely to invite home for dinner (Horgan 23%, Weaver 21%, Clark 20%) or the one most likely to pay back a loan (Clark 19%, Horgan 19%, Weaver 15%). Horgan and Clark are practically tied (22% to 21%) on being the most likeable, with Weaver at 15%.

More than half of British Columbians (55%) believe Clark would say anything to get elected, a proportion that drops to 18% for Horgan and 2% for Weaver.

The top issue facing British Columbia continues to be housing, poverty and homelessness (32%, +3 since an Insights West poll conducted in November 2016), followed by health care (23%, +5), the economy and jobs (16%, -1) and accountability (7%, -1).

The approval rating for Premier Clark is steady at 36% (-1), but continues to show sizeable gaps on gender (Men 44%, Women 27%) and age (18-34 19%, 35-54 31%, 55+ 42%).

Horgan’s approval rating dropped three points to 39%, and 25% of British Columbians are undecided about his performance. Weaver is at 29% (-4), with 44% undecided.


Among decided voters, 41% said they would cast a ballot for the BC NDP candidate in their riding, followed by the BC Liberals with 40%, the BC Greens with 11%, and the BC Conservatives with 5%.

When asked about their motivations for selecting a party in the election, BC Liberal voters primarily cited “ideas and policies” (45%) and “desire for stability” (30%). For BC NDP voters, the most important motivations are “ideas and policies” (38%) and “desire for change” (27%). One-in-five Green voters (19%) say their main motivation is “disgust with other contending candidates” (compared to 14% for BC NDP voters and 6% for BC Liberal voters).


Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from February 23 to February 26, 2017, among 801 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points. View the detailed data tabulations.

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