Conservative support collapsing in B.C. battleground ridings, NDP takes the lead

FRESH polling conducted by Insights West for citizen group Dogwood Initiative reveals dramatic shifts in key battleground ridings ahead of this fall’s federal election.

“With five months left before Canadians go to the polls, the Conservative Party is having difficulty connecting with voters in these four ridings,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President of Public Affairs at Insights West. “Concerns about environmental issues and Bill C-51 may be partly to blame for the poor showing from the governing party’s candidates.”

Insights West interviewed 300 voting-age adults by telephone in each of four different federal ridings. Those who said they were likely to vote were asked, “If the federal election were held tomorrow, which one of these candidates would you support?”

Courtenay-Alberni:  CON – 23 / NDP – 33 / LIB – 11 / GREEN – 9

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford:  CON – 22 / NDP – 32 / LIB – 12 / GREEN – 8

Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke: CON – 14 / NDP – 42 / LIB 12 / GREEN – 13

Burnaby-North Seymour: CON – 15 / NDP – 35 / LIB – 6 / GREEN – 19

“The federal Liberal Party is currently not competitive in these ridings, in spite of a seemingly high proportion of residents who regard Justin Trudeau as their preferred prime minister,” said Canseco. “The New Democrats are ahead in all four constituencies, with an extremely high number of supporters in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.”

Questions about key election issues revealed tension between local constituents and current government policy. For example, a majority of respondents in all ridings expressed concern over oil tanker projects, democratic reform and government surveillance.

The 1200-person study was paid for by Dogwood Initiative, B.C.’s largest nonpartisan citizen group, thanks to a fundraising campaign among supporters in Canada. Local group One Cowichan contributed funding to include Cowichan-Malahat-Langford in the survey.

“We’re focused on battleground ridings where we know we have a lot of supporters,” said Kai Nagata, Energy and Democracy Director at Dogwood Initiative. “We’re not going to issue endorsements or tell anyone who to vote for, but we do want citizens to know where their candidates stand and which ones have a decent chance at winning.”

Insights West will continue to conduct local telephone polling in the leadup to the federal election. Dogwood is building an election website that will host polling data, interactive maps, candidate surveys and news updates for each of B.C.’s 42 federal ridings.