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B.C.'s John Horgan sees approval rating hit all-time high amid COVID-19 response

Last Updated Jul 14, 2020 at 7:27 am PST

FILE - B.C. Premier John Horgan talked with the prime minister about the coronavirus pandemic Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Premier John Horgan has never been more popular with British Columbians, according to Insights West

Latest government report card shows B.C. premier, NDP have seen huge spikes in approval over past seven months

Insights West finds John Horgan's approval rating is the highest of any provincial leader since 2012

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Premier John Horgan’s approval rating has hit an all-time high.

The premier and his party have apparently seen a massive boost due to how they’ve handled the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months, according to a recent survey from Insights West.

The latest government report card finds leaders across the country have seen a spike in approval during the pandemic-response, however, none have seen a boost like B.C.’s premier and his NDP.

“Premier Horgan really leads the charge,” Steve Mossop with Insights West says. “We have approval ratings rocketing by 17 points in just seven months to 68 per cent, which is really higher than we’ve ever seen for not only Horgan but any other political leader that we’ve measured.”

Horgan and the B.C. New Democrats already enjoyed a strong approval rating heading into the COVID-19 pandemic, and Mossop says the premier improved in a few different areas.

“If you look at everything from healthcare, education, the economy, and transportation, those also have received improved numbers,” Mossop explains. “So healthcare, which is related to the pandemic, is 62 per cent approval. But education, 53 per cent, transportation, 50 per cent — those are also some good numbers.”

Voting intentions have now reached their highest level since Insights West tracking began eight years ago, the pollster notes.

“We started this company in 2012 and no sitting premier has ever received a rating of higher than 50 per cent except for John Horgan in his early days of his mandate,” Mossop says. “When he was first elected in 2017 he had about 52, 53 per cent and then typically it tails off. But, to see it go up by nearly 20 points is really quite astounding.”

Meanwhile, the pollster finds B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson’s approval rating has dropped five points to 30 per cent since November.

“The interim Green leader also has made a debut at about a 30 per cent approval rating, so these are really quite different numbers than what we’re seeing for Horgan,” Mossop adds.