ORCA Poll Series: Leaders Impressions - The Orca

ORCA Poll Series: Leaders Impressions

Maclean Kay

Horgan is personally popular, Wilkinson has work to do, and Weaver walks a tightrope

British Columbians like Premier John Horgan, might be changing their opinions of Andrew Weaver, and mostly still don’t know who Andrew Wilkinson is – according to a recent poll done for The Orca.

John Horgan is still relatively popular – a testament to his charisma. He is strikingly more popular than his party. 85% of British Columbians who voted NDP in 2017 have positive views of him. Interestingly – and importantly – 58% of Green voters also have a positive impression of the premier, suggesting they still support the decision to support an NDP government, rather than a BC Liberal one.

It will be interesting to see if those numbers shift in the wake of LNG Canada’s announcement, which as The Orca reported, isn’t popular with NDP voters.

Andrew Wilkinson had – by far – the highest unknowns.

Just over a third (34%) of British Columbians had not heard of him. The number is even higher among women: 48% of women aged 35 to 54 had not heard of him, and fully 55% of those aged 18 to 34 don’t know him.

The numbers suggest he and his party face an uphill climb connecting him to voters. In government, thanks to holding the levers of power and making funding announcements, the NDP will naturally command much of the airwaves, leaving the BC Liberals in the unfamiliar position of fighting for scraps.

That’s the bad news. The good news is Wilkinson enjoyed the least bad reactions, with only 36% having a moderate or strong negative opinion of him – ten percentage points less than Horgan, and nine less than Weaver.

For his part, Andrew Weaver is distinctly unpopular with male voters aged 55 and older, with 67% expressing either moderately or strongly negative opinions of the Green leader. Overall, his positive (38%) and negative (45%) roughly balance out.

Interestingly, 25% of Green voters expressed either a strong or moderately negative opinion of their leader, difficult to explain in a party that until very recently had only one elected representative – Weaver.

Whichever party they support – if any – British Columbians aren’t easy to impress.

None of the three major party leaders had robust “strongly positive” views; John Horgan enjoyed the highest with 9%.

The survey, done on behalf of The Orca by One Persuasion Inc., of 1,005 British Columbians was conducted using a representative sample panel, between Sept. 4 and 7, 2018. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by age, gender, region and past provincial vote to ensure accuracy.

Maclean Kay is Editor-in-Chief of The Orca