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A Tale of Two Voters: Shifting dynamics tighten BC Election race in its final days

As British Columbia’s three main political parties vie to lock in the support of voters who have yet to cast ballots in one of the most unusual election campaigns in this province’s history, the latest data (Oct. 20, 2020) from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute show the gap between the BC NDP and the BC Liberals narrowing slightly.

New Democrats may continue to hold a comfortable lead but have shed a handful of points to the BC Liberals and BC Greens since last week as those yet to vote think more seriously about their choices.

The results suggest that those who have already voted – a group more heavily concentrated in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island – overwhelmingly supported the NDP. By contrast, among those yet to vote – more likely to be found in Northern and Interior BC and the Fraser Valley – the race is much more competitive, with voters almost evenly divided between the NDP and Liberals.

A consistent theme running through the campaign has been a relative ambivalence towards the parties and their leaders. Indeed, while just under half (46%) of voters say they are motivated by a party and what it stands for, the other half (54%) are determined to block a party they don’t like instead. Among those who say they will vote for the BC Liberals this sentiment rises to seven-in-ten (71%).

Overall vote intention shows the BC NDP holding a notable, but shrunken lead over previous waves of polling. Since last week, support for the party has dropped four points (45% now versus 49% last week), while the BC Liberals have picked up two points (35% versus 33%). The Greens are also up two points to 16 per cent.

In terms of preferred election outcome, voters are split between wanting an NDP majority (35%) an NDP minority (23%) and a Liberal majority (22%).

Link to the poll here:

The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.