British Columbia

New poll puts NDP support at 41 per cent in B.C.

A new poll says NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has taken a strong lead over the rival candidates in British Columbia.

Tories slip to third place in new survey

Tom Mulcair's NDP have taken a big lead over election rivals in British Columbia, according to a new poll from Insights West. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

 A new poll says Thomas Mulcair's New Democrats are widening their lead over rival parties in British Columbia.

The survey, by Insights West, found 41 per cent of decided B.C. voters would cast a ballot for NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Justin Trudeau's Liberals are in second spot with  24 per cent and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Tories are in third at 22 per cent. The Green Party trails at 12 per cent.

The poll surveyed 815 British Columbians in an online study from August 20 to August 24, 2015. It also found 21 per cent of respondents undecided.

Mulcair's lead represents a marked increase from a previous Insights West poll that surveyed B.C.residents in May. That survey put NDP support at 35 per cent, the Conservatives at 29 per cent and the Liberals at 25 per cent.

When asked who would make the best prime minister in the August poll,  27 per cent of respondents chose Mulcair, 20 per cent picked Trudeau, 19 per cent selected Harper and nine per cent named May.

That's a sharp improvement from the May poll, when 27 per cent of respondents said Harper would make the best prime minister. In that survey, 22 per cent named Mulcair as the best prime ministerial candidate. Nineteen per cent picked Trudeau.

The poll asked decided voters in B.C., "If the federal election were held today, which party’s candidate would you vote for in your constituency?" (Insights West)

"It's really interesting because we do see him (Mulcair) connecting at a much higher level than (the late, former NDP leader) Jack Layton did four years ago," said Insights West's Mario Canseco in a phone interview.

"For them to be at 41 per cent . . . totally suggests that there is a lot of people both hungry for change and who are looking at the NDP as the best option to deliver that change."

Greens rise on Vancouver Island

In Metro Vancouver, the poll showed the NDP had 43 per cent support, ahead of the Liberals at 25 per cent, and the Tories at 23 per cent.

But on Vancouver Island, support for the Greens is on the rise. The party has 32 per cent support there, up from 20 per cent in May and just seven points behind the NDP, which has 39 per cent support.

Respondents said Mulcair is regarded as the candidate who is better suited to handle housing, poverty, homelessness, health care, the economy, jobs and government accountability.

Harper led on foreign affairs, crime and public safety. Poll respondents said May was the best candidate to handle the environment, according to the poll.

The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.1  per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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