New poll shows mixed feelings about B.C. NDP government



Many British Columbians feel uneasy about the direction of the province under the NDP government, yet Premier John Horgan enjoys the highest approval rating of all party leaders, according to the mixed bag results of a new Angus Reid Institute poll.

The poll delved into how British Columbians feel about the minority NDP government’s performance, and found a province divided along political, generational and regional lines.

“It’s certainly a province that is, I would suggest, as divided as it was this time a year ago,” said Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute.

The survey found more British Columbians are more likely to say the province is on the wrong track (42 per cent), compared to those who are optimistic about the direction it is headed (29 per cent). Another 28 per cent are on the fence.

The policies the NDP had brought in to improve housing affordability — an increase to the foreign-buyers tax and property transfer tax, the new speculation tax and proposed school tax increase — have widespread support, ranging from 66 per cent to 75 per cent.

Despite this, only 35 per cent of British Columbians approve of the government’s performance on the housing affordability file. Close to 50 per cent disapproved with disapproval ratings highest in the rest of Metro Vancouver (except the City of Vancouver) and the rest of B.C. Even in Vancouver, views on the government’s performance on the file is “middling,” said the report.

A larger number (53 per cent) gave a thumbs down to the government’s handling of the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline project, while 36 per cent are in favour. Support for the government on this issue was lowest outside of the Lower Mainland. Age was also a factor, with 18 to 34-year-olds more likely to approve (44 per cent) compared to older age groups.

“There isn’t necessarily a tremendous endorsement of the government’s handling of key issues yet at the same time, some of the most contentious policy pieces have found a notable amount of support,” said Kurl.

Among the leaders, Horgan has the lead with an approval rating of 47 per cent. Green party Leader Andrew Weaver has 34 per cent, while Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has 26 per cent.

The online survey was conducted May 4 to 7 among a representative randomized sample of 809 adults. A sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

chchan@postmedia.com

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