Majority think NDP government is doing bad job on housing affordability
WHEN it comes to voting intention, the governing BC New Democrats are in first place with the support of 37% (-3 since an Insights West survey conducted in January) of decided voters, followed by the BC Liberals with 32% (+1), the BC Green Party with 17% (-2) and the BC Conservatives with 12% (+4), according to the latest Insights West poll.
Close to half of British Columbians (47%, -6) approve of Horgan’s performance as Premier, while two-in-five (40%, +9) disapprove.
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver holds an approval rating of 37% (-8), while only one-in-four residents (24%) are satisfied with the performance of BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson and three-in-five (58%) are not sure about interim BC Conservatives leader Scott Anderson.
One third of British Columbians (34%) say their opinion of Horgan has worsened over the past six months, while 18% say it has improved, giving him a net momentum score of -16. On this indicator, Anderson is at -7, Wilkinson is at -14 and Weaver is at -23.
However, just over a year after the NDP was officially sworn into office, the poll reveals that the majority of residents think the provincial government is doing a bad job handling the most important issue facing the province today: housing affordability.
In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbian adults, more than a third (36%) say that housing prices and affordability is the most important issue in the province—more than triple the proportion that mention health care (11%), energy and pipelines (9%), the environment (7%) or the economy (also 7%).
Housing affordability is a significant concern for the province’s younger residents, with the majority of those aged 18-34 (51%) saying that it is the most important issue facing the province. This issue also resonates more highly for Metro Vancouverites (47%) than the rest of BC.
Issues and Governance
At least two-in-five British Columbians believe the provincial government has done a “very good” or “good” job handing the environment (44%, +8), education (41%, =) and health care (40%, +7). A third of residents are also satisfied with the work being done on transportation (35%), the economy (34%), jobs and unemployment (33%) and energy and pipelines (also 33%, =), while slightly less are content with how Victoria is dealing with crime and public safety (31%, +3) and taxes (30%).
The provincial government sees its lowest rankings on homelessness (26%), housing prices and affordability (24%) and poverty (23%).
When it comes to specific decisions made by the provincial government, almost two-in-five British Columbians say the government has done a “very good” or “good” job handling relations with BC’s First Nations (37%, +4) and establishing a framework for the legal sale of marijuana (also 37%, =). Although a similar number (36%) feel that the provincial administration has done a good job in introducing real estate tax changes to address the housing shortage/pricing situation, a larger proportion (43%) feels they have done a bad job with these measures.
At least a third of BC residents are also content with how the provincial government is dealing with money laundering in casinos (35%), taking action to reduce BC’s greenhouse gas emissions (34%, +1), managing BC Lottery Corporation (33%), and dealing with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline (also 33%, +7). While scores on this particular file climbed 7 percentage points in the past 6 months, the majority of residents (54%, +12) feel the provincial government has done a bad job dealing with the Trans Mountain Pipeline (both positive and negative scores have increased due the number of “not sure” responses dropping from 32% to 13%).
The lowest ranked decisions for the provincial government are related to how they are managing BC Hydro (29%, -4), BC Ferries (28%, =), ICBC (also 28%), and TransLink (26%, -1).
“After a year of the BC NDP being in office, the negative scores on handling the Trans Mountain pipeline issue and the housing crisis have overshadowed the good marks on the environment, education and health care,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “Usually the economy, jobs and health care top the public agenda, but the stubborn issue of housing prices and affordability has overshadowed anything else by a long shot and, until some measurable change occurs, it will continue to dominate the public agenda.”
Results are based on an online study conducted from July 12 to 15, and the data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.