How the BC NDP became the dominant party in BC in 7 years

 No new poll yesterday, so my projections are still valid.

Today, I thought it'd be interesting to look at the evolution of voting intentions by region over the last 3 elections. Let's start with Metro Vancouver:

7 years ago, during an election that saw one of Canada's biggest polling failures, the BC Liberals of Christy Clark were still the first party in the Vancouver region. Over the last 7 years, the Liberals have decreased from 46% to 35% right now in my adjusted polling average. The NDP went from 41% to 53%. In 2017, Metro Vancouver is actually the only region where the NDP increased! John Horgan pretty much campaigned the entire time there and bet big on the suburbs -- and it paid off with many gains in Surrey and elsewhere. This year, we see the NDP just increasing its lead to unprecedented levels. The dominance is such that the Liberals could well be left with only a few seats.

Let's look at Vancouver Island (where Victoria is in case you aren't from BC and are rightfully confused).

Three years ago, that was the battleground with essentially a three way race. Ridings like Courtney-Comox ended up deciding the fate of the province based on fewer than 200 votes. The Green made a remarkable progression which allowed them to go from 1 seat (that was almost entirely due to their leader Andrew Weaver) to 3. As you can see, this year is very different and this party is back to its 2013 levels. Worse news for them, the NDP -- their main opponent in their 3 ridings -- are now comfortably ahead and above 50%. This is why my projections have the Green at zero seat in average. Could they save their 2 or 3 seats? Possible but it'll require strong personal effects from Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen. In Oak Bay - Gordon head, the riding of Andrew Weaver, I believe the NDP is clearly favorite. Weaver had one of the strongest personal effects I have seen (around 30 points) and his departure will hurt the Green. Although his riding is partially shared with the one of Elizabeth May at the federal level and is one of the Greenest ones in the country. Still, there is no way that losing Weaver won't hurt the Green, especially since the new candidate is far from a star candidate (sorry...)

Finally, the Interior (or the rest of BC).

Traditionally a Liberal stronghold, recent polling has revealed a big surprise: the NDP is essentially tied with the Liberals! This is pretty crazy and shows the current dominance of the NDP everywhere. If they are competitive in the Interior, they can not only win a majority but a very large one. Notice the BC Conservatives that were at 7% in 2013 back when they were organized and were running a lot of candidates. They are doing better this year than 3 years ago but it's still a far cry from their peak. Many have discussed a very strong urban-rural divide in BC but I tend to disagree. The graph above is clearly showing the NDP increasing the most in the Interior. Sure it might still be concentrated in the more 'urban' areas (Chilliwack, etc), but we are very far from the rural-urban divide we observe during federal elections. The fact the NDP, that lost by 20 points in the Interior 3 years ago, is now tied with the Liberals is remarkable and not something I was expecting to see.

So, what do we see? Well it's one of the clearest elections I have covered. The BC NDP is just dominant everywhere, including in the Interior. The Green are suffering a pretty serious setback compared to 2017. It's likely due to losing Andrew Weaver (who has literally endorsed Horgan...) as well as the covid-19 situation pushing progressives towards the NDP. The polls clearly showed the Green dropping around March-April this year. And the recent Angus-Reid poll was showing that as many as 40% of Green voters from 2017 were now voting NDP.

What would make this election more interesting? The Green need to defend at least 2 seats on the Island and the Liberals need to climb back in Metro Vancouver. If they can do that, they might just have a small chance. The NDP could be up provincially but some of the increase would be wasted in the Interior while they would lose some seats in Metro Vancouver. But that will require an overall shift of at least 5 points and, so far, polls have not shown this to be the trend.