VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — It seems rising COVID-19 numbers in B.C. aren’t hurting Premier John Horgan’s approval ratings, according to recent polling data.
An Angus Reid Institute poll shows Horgan’s approval ratings are now the highest of any premier in Canada at 69 per cent. But the poll also found how well a province is handling the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t necessarily correlate to the popularity of its leader.
Following Horgan, Ontario’s Doug Ford (66 per cent) and Quebec’s Francois Legault (65 per cent) came in second and third respectively.
“Notably, all three premiers have faced a mix of praise and criticism for their back-to-school plans, as province’s shift their attention to ensuring the safety of both children and their family and friends when classes resume next week,” the pollster says.
Horgan’s rating also is much higher than Alberta’s Jason Kenney, who came in at 42 per cent.
“Albertans have grown increasingly critical of his government’s response to the coronavirus and the province’s finances are in historically poor shape with oil revenues plummeting and pandemic-related economic shocks persisting,” according to Angus Reid.
Horgan’s popularity has been fueling speculation in Victoria that B.C. is in for an early election, Angus Reid notes.
While there’s little indication an early vote will actually be called, Elections BC is already preparing for it, telling the Times Colonist it is finding rentable space and securing PPE for poll workers.
The next provincial election for B.C. is set for October 2021.
Meanwhile, the polling data shows the newly-minted Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey is in last with 34 per cent.
“Residents remain relatively unaware of his performance thus far, with 55 per cent responding that they are unsure at this point how they feel about him and 34 per cent in approval.”