Politics

B.C. Premier David Eby in strong place ahead of fall election: Poll

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With a provincial election just over half a year away, B.C. Premier David Eby finds himself in a “relatively strong position,” with roughly half of voters approving of his performance, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute.

The NDP leader — who, along with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, is likely to be fighting for re-election in October — has the approval of 48 per cent of voters. While Moe is in a similar position, Higgs is the least popular premier in the country.

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Eby’s popularity has been unchanged for well over a year, even as the province continues to battle housing availability and affordability issues and cost-of-living strains.

His government responded with major expenditures on housing, health care and affordability relief for British Columbians, with last month’s budget expected to run a $7 billion deficit into 2024-25 — about double the deficit projection from a year ago.

That budget has been criticized as “the party’s election platform,” according to a summary of the poll, which was conducted in the first week of March among members of the Angus Reid forum. (Of 4,550 total Canadians who responded, 813 were from B.C.)

“Much of the intrigue in the electoral contest will depend on a divided opposition, which has given the NDP a comfortable lead in vote intention thus far.”

An October 2023 poll showed that John Rustad’s Conservatives had pulled into a tie with Kevin Falcon and B.C. United, giving the NDP a “comfortable lead” a year out from the provincial election.

Eby was the third-most popular premier in the online survey. Recently sworn-in Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew — Canada’s first premier from a First Nation — is enjoying a honeymoon period with 63 per cent approval, while Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has 53 per cent support.

Voter intention in the country’s two most populous provinces is more unfavourable, with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Quebec Premier Francois Legault approved of by only about a third of voters.

Angus Reid Institute premiers poll
Angus Reid Institute premiers poll

The Angus Reid Institute online survey was conducted from Feb. 28 to March 6 among a randomized sample of 4,550 Canadian adults. The B.C. margin of error was plus or minus three per cent.

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