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New Abacus poll shows B.C. Conservatives within six points of B.C. NDP

Poll predicts likely NDP majority government, but says it is becoming less certain
Conservative Party of B.C. Leader John Rustad says new poll showing his party within six points of B.C. shows that his party is building a “strong grassroots movement” across B.C. (Black Press Media file photo)

A new poll of committed voters sees the provincial Conservatives under John Rustad climbing to within six points of the B.C. NDP.

“What looked like an easy (B.C.) NDP victory at the end of last year now looks more uncertain now,” David Coletto, Abacus Data chief executive officer, said.

But if the poll shows a substantial shift in the intention of voters toward the provincial Conservatives, Coletto also sees the provincial New Democrats likely winning another majority.

The party, he added, remains in a “strong position, despite widespread concern about the cost of living and the direction of the province.”

The poll released Tuesday (May 14) shows the B.C. NDP would receive 40 per cent of the decided vote, down four per cent from a poll conducted in November, while the provincial Conservatives would receive 34 per cent, up eight per cent. B.C. United under Leader Kevin Falcon would receive 13 per cent, down four per cent. The B.C. Greens would receive 10 per cent, up one per cent.

Eby remains by far the most popular provincial party leader with a net positive rating of 13 per cent, followed by B.C. Green Leader Sonia Furstenau (plus two per cent) and Rustad (minus three per cent). Falcon has a net approval rating of -15 per cent. Coletto added that Rustad is no more known than he was at the end of last year.

The B.C. NDP is ahead by six point in Metro Vancouver, by 15 points on Vancouver Island and statistically tied with the B.C. Conservatives in the Interior and North.

Coletto said the provincial Conservatives “have likely benefited” from both the popularity of the federal Conservatives and also B.C.’s difficult economic situation. According to the poll, 51 per cent of surveyed voters describe the provincial economy as poor or terrible with New Democratic supporters far more likely to feel positive about the economy than those supporting the provincial Conservatives. The poll also finds that almost half of surveyed voters — 47 per cent — want a change in government.

“We are building a very strong grassroots movement across this province,” Rustad said, when asked about the poll results. “It’s actually very encouraging to see the people that are coming and are joining what we are doing right across this province, whether it’s down here in Victoria, whether it’s up in the Northeast, whether it’s in the Kootenays, whether it’s the Okanagan, whether it’s in Surrey.”

RELATED: Conservatives becoming perfect ‘foil’ for B.C. NDP election hopes: SFU prof

Rustad added that the poll reflects people wanting change after decades of government by both the B.C. Liberals — now B.C. United — and the B.C. NDP.

“We want a government that is going to deliver for people and fight for the average-day person and that’s what I’m hearing time and time again.”

Reporters attending an unrelated event by Premier David Eby Tuesday morning also heard Rustad’s name multiple times as he frequently pivoted to criticize the provincial Conservatives on a range of issues.

“I think it is important for me to make sure people understand the choice that is on the ballot between now and the election,” he said, when asked about the poll. “I have been clear from the beginning — the (provincial) Conservatives are a real threat. They are going to cost British Columbians in very tangible ways: canceling schools projects, re-lighting the dumpster fire at ICBC, canceling ICBC rates, canceling rebates for B.C. Hydro and just last week, putting into question a woman’s right to choose.”

With this last comment, Eby was referring to comments from B.C. Conservative House Leader Bruce Banman when he said during Question Period that motherhood begins at the “moment of conception.”

Banman later told Postmedia that women have the right to choose what to do with their bodies after the B.C. NDP and the two other opposition parties seized on Banman’s comments.

Rustad Tuesday (May 14) said his party has no intention to open the abortion debate.

“The issue was resolved in 1988 (by the Supreme Court of Canada) and we have no intention to address this or try to raise this issue again,” he said.

Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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