(BC Gov Flickr)

A new poll suggests Premier John Horgan could win a majority government if an early election were called, but many voters remain uneasy about voting during the pandemic.

New data from the Angus Reid Institute says that the BC NDP currently has the support of 48 per cent of decided and leaning voters, while their closest rival, the BC Liberal party, trails 19 points behind at 29 per cent.

The B.C. Greens round out third place with 14 per cent of respondents saying they would cast a vote for the currently leaderless party.

However, while the poll numbers may be welcome news for the provincial government, a full one-third of those polled said they would not be comfortable voting in person due to concerns around COVID-19.

That figure increases among NDP supporters, with two in five voters saying they would be apprehensive about physically voting.

In a press conference on Thursday, Premier Horgan referred to elections in other provinces as proof that there are safe ways to vote.

“There’s an election underway right now in New Brunswick, there’s an election upcoming in Saskatchewan, and Elections BC is prepared to provide a safe way to vote if that’s something that comes up.”

Asked if he would rule out calling an early election, Horgan did not specifically dismiss the idea.

“We have been a minority government for the past three years which is a long long time for a minority government,” the Premier said.

“We have been prepared for an election every day of that three year period. I think the shelf life of a John Horgan government was supposed to be six weeks, and then six months, and then now, apparently, it will go on forever.”

B.C.’s fixed election laws dictate that the next provincial election must be held on or before October 16, 2021.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from August 26 – September 1, 2020 among a representative randomized sample of 655 B.C. adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.