More than one week into the campaign, many British Columbians have yet to make up their mind about the October 24 provincial election called by Premier John Horgan and his B.C. NDP.
Results of a survey conducted by the Ipsos polling company show that 31 percent of British Columbians are undecided or have no preference on who to vote for.
The same survey results released on September 29 also show Horgan and the B.C. NDP leading over the B.C. Liberals headed by Andrew Wilkinson.
New Democrats are leading by 18 points.
Currently, 51 percent of decided voters say they would be most likely to support or lean towards the B.C. NDP.
The B.C. Liberals are next at 33 percent.
The B.C. Greens have 12 percent.
Other parties got four percent.
The good news for the B.C. Liberals and Greens is that there are more undecided voters available this election compared to the start of the 2017 campaign, according to Ipsos.
In the 2017 campaign, there were 23 percent undecided compared to the current 31 percent.
Ipsos also noted that British Columbians care about a wide variety of different issues in this provincial election.
The coronavirus or COVID-19 is at the top of the list.
Other important issues include cost of living and affordability, jobs and the economy, health care, and housing affordability and availability.
The 2017 election opened with nearly six-in-ten (56 percent) voters saying it was time for change.
This election, Ipsos said only half as many voters (28 percent) say it is time for another provincial party to take over.
Nearly half (45 percent) of British Columbians believe that the Horgan government has done a good job and deserves re-election.
On September 29, Wilkinson and the B.C. Liberals announced that if victorious in the October 24 election, they will eliminate the provincial sales tax or PST for one year.
This will be followed by cutting PST to three per cent in year two until the economy starts to recover from COVID-19 pandemic.
“Eliminating the PST puts more money in people’s pockets, stimulates growth for struggling small business, and helps British Columbians who are struggling to get by. This is a vital step to rebuild our economy,” Wilkinson said.
“Since everybody pays the PST, everybody saves under our BC Liberal plan,” Wilkinson said.
The B.C. Liberals said that their plan provides historic savings to people and families at a time when they need it most.
On September 30, Horgan announced that the B.C. NDP will invest in new public long-term care homes and crack down on private operators who cut corners.
“During a health crisis, it’s seniors who are most at risk,” Horgan said. “Sixteen long years of BC Liberal neglect left long-term care homes dangerously understaffed and frontline workers underpaid. Our plan builds on the progress we’ve made to keep seniors healthy and safe, through the pandemic and beyond.”
Horgan made the comments as he announced a comprehensive plan to deliver better care to seniors.
The plan includes building new, better public long-term care homes, instead of handing hundreds of millions of dollars to for-profit corporations.
Also incuded is making sure private operators deliver better care with new requirements to ensure they deliver the care they are paid to and are more accountable for the public dollars they receive.
This plan builds on the commitment Horgan made to hire 7,000 new health care workers in long-term care and assisted living, investing in new training and opportunities for workers who lost their jobs in other sectors due to COVID-19.