John Horgan was in Richmond-Queensborough on the last day of campaigning, stopping at a coffee shop with fellow NDP candidates.
With tight races in Richmond’s four ridings and high poll numbers for the NDP, his appearance seemed to signal the high stakes in area.
According to a poll conducted on Oct. 22 and 23 by Research Co. of 750 decided voters, 50 per cent of respondents said they’d cast a ballot for the BC NDP, while 35 per cent said they are voting for the BC Liberals and 13 per cent for the Greens.
The margin of error is 3.7 per cent 19 times out of 20.
Furthermore, Horgan’s approval rating is 62 per cent (down three per cent since earlier in October), Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau’s is 46 per cent and Wilkinson’s is 40 per cent.
338Canada, which aggregates data – not local polling information - to make seat projections, has Richmond-Queensborough “NDP leaning” with Richmond-Steveston and Richmond South Centre as a “toss up” between the two main parties.
Of the four, only Richmond North Centre, where Teresa Wat is running for re-election, is “Liberal leaning.”
The Liberal leader, Andrew Wilkinson, in the meantime, was planning to spend the last campaigning in different communities and ending the day in Surrey.
Horgan didn’t have any new promises on the last day, although it was dubbed as an “announcement.” He reiterated promises like 7,000 new care aides for long-term care, more investment in child care, creating 18,000 jobs by building infrastructure, including a SkyTrain to Langley, and a COVID-19 monetary benefit.
While the pandemic has been an “extraordinary challenge” to deal with, Horgan said there have also been some silver linings, like the reduction in traffic.
Horgan said, in talking with small business owners about operating during under the current circumstances, many have adapted by expanding online, something that became an “imperative” in the wake of the pandemic.
As society gets “back to normal” it’s an opportunity to build new infrastructure and invest in the tech sector to continue to help reduce carbon emissions, he said.
“There’s no shortage of opportunity – significant challenges to be sure and I think a renewed government will have space to make positive decisions, collaborating all the while to make sure we move forward together,” Horgan added.
The Research Co. poll shows the most important issue for voters is the economy and jobs (25 per cent), housing/poverty/homelessness (23 per cent) and health care (23 per cent). COVID-19 was mentioned by only 13 per cent of respondents.
Those concerned about crime and public safety accounted for four per cent of respondents, and only two per cent mentioned education as an issue.