British Columbia

A year after election, residents more inclined to think B.C. is on 'wrong track': poll

Despite the concerns, the Angus Reid poll also found that Premier John Horgan remains the most popular party leader in the province.

Despite concerns, Premier John Horgan remains the most popular party leader in province

Premier John Horgan has the approval of 47 per cent of B.C. voters. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

One year after the last provincial election, more British Columbians say the province is on the "wrong track" than the right one, according to a new poll.

Forty-two per cent of residents are inclined to say the province is on the wrong track, compared with 29 per cent who would say it is on the right track; 28 per cent aren't sure.

Despite the concerns, the Angus Reid poll also found that Premier John Horgan remains the most popular party leader, with the approval of 47 per cent of residents. 

That puts him well ahead of his rivals: Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver has 34 per cent approval and Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has 26 per cent.

Housing and pipelines top concerns

When asked what they thought the top issues facing the province were, 50 per cent of respondents said housing and affordability, while 42 per cent picked pipelines and tankers. Other issues were health care and MSP premiums, taxes,  the environment, the economy, and transportation, traffic and transit.

On the housing issue, a large majority backed the actions taken by the government to improve housing affordability, with 75 per cent backing both the increase in the tax on foreign buyers and the new speculation tax on homeowners who don't pay taxes in B.C.

Two-thirds of those surveyed also supported the increased school tax and property transfer tax on homes worth more than $3 million.

Support for the increase in taxes was highest in the City of Vancouver, with 88 per cent supporting the higher levy on foreign buyers. Support was higher among NDP and Green voters compared to Liberal supporters.

Despite the popularity of the specific taxes, only 35 per cent of those polled said they approved of how the NDP had handled the issue of housing affordability overall; 49 per cent disapproved and 15 per cent could not say.

Even more unpopular was the government's handling of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline dispute, with 53 per cent disapproving, compared with 36 per cent approving and 11 per cent not saying either way.

The poll was conducted May 4-7, 2018, using an online survey of a representative, randomized sample of 809 adult B.C. residents who are registered with the Maru Voice Canada website.

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