May 5, 2019, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – It’s a three-way race going into the Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election but one thing is clear: the Liberals are not going to win.
Despite coming in second in the 2015 Federal Election with 23.5% of voter support, the Liberals have consistently been trailing in 4th place in the run-up to Monday’s by-election.
Polly—our patented AI—has been monitoring voter intentions in the riding and NDP candidate Bob Chamberlin and Conservative candidate John Hirst have an equal chance to win the riding. Polly projects both parties will receive 29% (± 8%) of the vote, while Green Party candidate Paul Manly—who has been consistently rising in popularity throughout the campaign—also has a chance to win the riding and is projected to get 26% (± 8%) of voter support. Michelle Corfield, the Liberal candidate, is only projected to get 16% (± 8%) of the vote.
The by-election is being seen as a litmus test for the upcoming federal election in the fall and the Liberal’s poor showing in Nanaimo-Ladysmith could be a sign of things to come.
“This by-election is a tight race between three parties, and it is significant that the Liberals are not in contention. The party’s carbon tax is an unpopular topic in BC and overall trust in the Liberals has been weakened by controversies, especially the SNC-Lavalin affair.”
– Erin Kelly, CEO, Advanced Symbolics Inc.
Trust in the Liberals as a whole is a major theme voters are discussing. The SNC-Lavalin controversy remains a topic that is attached to the Liberals and BC follows only Ontario in the number of people engaging on the topic of SNC-Lavalin despite BC having only 1/3 of the population. Of the 140,000 people in BC engaging on SNC-Lavalin in April, 60% (± 1%) have a negative stance toward the topic, with 7% (± 1%) are undecided, and only 34% (± 1%) have a positive stance on the issue.
The Liberal’s carbon tax doesn’t have a lot of support in BC. The province implemented its own carbon tax in 2008, and since then emissions in the province have risen along with gas prices. Polly has noticed that 58%(± 1%) of people in BC have a negative stance toward carbon tax, while 6% (± 1%) are undecided, and only 36% (± 1%) have a positive stance toward the topic.
Although support for carbon tax in BC is low, climate change is a top-of-mind issue for many BC voters. In April, over 220,000 people in BC engaged on the topic of climate change, which is more than any other province other than Ontario which has three times the population. The Liberal’s relatively low projected voter support could be a sign that British Columbians don’t believe a federally imposed carbon tax will be successful in addressing climate change.
This was an independent study performed by Advanced Symbolics Inc.
Study period for Nanaimo-Ladysmith voter support projection:
February 3, 2019 – May 3, 2019
Sample Size: 774
About Advanced Symbolics Inc.
Advanced Symbolics Inc. (ASI), based in Ottawa, uses Artificial Intelligence to accurately predict human behaviour for use in market research and public opinion research. ASI’s technology is used extensively in retail, consumer branding, health care, and cyber security applications.
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