Poll shows Christy Clark trailing other provincial party leaders in approval rating


With the provincial election campaign period officially kicking off today, it appears Premier Christy Clark may have to mend fences with voters.

A new poll conducted by Insights West shows that Clark has the lowest approval rating of the three major party leaders at 30%, trailing the NDP’s John Horgan at 37%, and the Green Party’s Andrew Weaver at 35%.

In terms of voting intentions, the parties are much closer among decided voters, with the NDP holding a slight advantage at 40%, and the Liberals right behind with 38%. 21% are undecided.

However, pollsters say the most interesting number is that 64% of respondents say they feel the need for a change.

“We have more than 60% of people who say that it’s time for a change in government," said Mario Canseco, vice president of public affairs with Insights West. "It’s consistent with what was observed in our polling in Manitoba. It’s not as high as it was in Alberta, for instance, where the final poll had 82% of people saying it’s time for change. So I think that’s a number that I would watch for. If we end up in a situation where a couple of weeks from now, the sentiment for change is at 50-something, then it’s not going to be enough for the NDP to win.”

Among the biggest things making voters dissatisfied with the Liberals is the recent scandals, such as the fundraising issues that have dogged Clark in recent months.

While NDP support is experiencing a slight boost, the poll says that the Liberals have a 4 or 5 point lead in the Okanagan and the North, which could play a huge role in how the election turns out.

“It almost reminds me of ’96, because what you have is a situation where the NDP is ahead when it comes to voting intentions, but they’re not getting that support in the areas that they need to win the seats," Canseco said. "It doesn’t make any sense for them to win the seats that they already have in Metro Vancouver, by 10,000 more votes than the last time, if they can’t make a dent in the Okanagan or the North. So if the situation holds like that, we could have a scenario where the NDP gets more votes, but the Liberals get more seats.”

Canseco also says that Clark continues to be viewed more favourably than Horgan when it comes to jobs, the economy and pipelines, while Horgan is believed to be the best leader to take on housing, poverty, education, healthcare, and accountability.

The date of the vote is May 9th.