Vancouver Island Poll Suggests Greens Could Pick Up 1-2 Seats

THE ECOreport looks at BC’s 2017 election, Vancouver Island poll suggests Greens could pick up 1-2 seats.

By Roy L Hales

Green Party Andrew Weaver received an incredible surprise when he heard the results of Check TV’s online election survey two days ago.  The Vancouver Island poll suggests Greens could pick up 1-2 seats.

Poll Suggests Greens Could Pick Up 1-2 Seats

The Vancouver Island figures (Click on image to enlarge) – Courtesy Mainstream Research Poll of March 11-12

Chek TV asked its’ viewers, “if the provincial election were held today which party would you vote for?”

As you can see in the chart at the top of this page, 52% responded “Greens.” While the BC Liberals poor showing is understandable, the Greens were also trouncing the NDP (who had 32%).

This is a very different result than what Mainstreet Research reported in the Vancouver Island-wide-component of their March 11-12 poll. The NDP have increased their lead to 31%, the BC Liberals have 24% and the Greens trailing at 16%. (If you include votes “leaning towards” a party, the numbers are: 40% NDP; 32% BC Liberals;  22% Green; 6% BC Conservative.)

The discrepancy between these two polls may arise because  Chek TV’s core viewing audience is largely in Greater Victoria and Southern Vancouver Island. This is also where the Greens are strongest.  Mainstream’s data does not consider this region apart from the rest of Vancouver Island.

Mainstreet Polling’s Province-Wide Findings

The Province wide picture of decided & leaning voters: 40% NDP; 36% BC Liberals; 13% Green; 11% BC Conservative (Click on image to enlarge) – Courtesy Mainstream Research Poll of March 11-12

Most British Columbians see this election as a contest between the province’s two major political parties. In their first poll, taken February 18-19, Mainstreet Research found they were tied at 37% in terms of decided and leaning voters. Since then, the BC Liberals have slipped back to 36% and the NDP have increased their lead to 40%.

Province wide, the Green Party’s numbers have  dropped from 17% to 13%.

The Vancouver Island figures (Click on image to enlarge) – Courtesy Mainstream Research Poll of March 11-12

I suspect this number could significantly change if voters decide that the Greens are a serious option. Given the BC Liberals current energy policies, it is difficult to believe that anyone who takes the threat of climate change seriously would vote for them. The NDP would address some of the province’s issues, such as the highly controversial Site C Dam, but their endorsement of the proposed emissions heavy LNG terminal expansion makes them a questionable choice. Only the Green party endorses a truly low emissions future (including options like geothermal energy, which could meet all of the province’s future energy needs). It is not certain how many of the Green party’s potential supporters intend to vote NDP for strategic reasons (“Anybody else is better than the BC Liberals!”), but 40% of the NDP’s supporters told Mainstream the Greens are their “second” choice.  The Greens were also popular with 15% of the Liberals and 40% of the BC Conservatives.

The Second choice listed by 40% of NDP supporters, through-out the province, is Green – Courtesy Mainstream Research Poll of March 11-12
37% of NDP supporters, polled through-out the province, could change their minds – Courtesy Mainstream Research Poll of March 11-12

Support For The Green Party

We appear to be witnessing the situation that was evidenced in the last Federal election. When you include the number of voters “considering” them, the Greens appeared to be on the verge of becoming a major contender in August 2015. These voters eventually went to the Liberals or NDP, who were better positioned to defeat Stephen Harper.

Federal Election preferences from August 2015: All data except the percentage of voters considering the Green party was taken from the Abacus poll of August 31, 2015. As this data was not given by Abacus, I used the data from the Nanos poll of August 25 – Roy L Hales

A similar situation is occurring in this election. The Chek TV survey suggests the Greens could pick up a second – or possibly even a third – seat in Southern Vancouver Island. This is the region that has already elected Elizabeth May (Federally) and Andrew Weaver (Provincially).

Top diagram: Chek News’ online Vancouver Island Poll (which I interpret as suggesting the Greens could, at least potentially,  pick up 1-2 seats in Southern Vancouver Island. 

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