With two sleeps left before a crucial provincial byelection in Nanaimo, momentum appears to be on the Liberals’ side.

In a poll released Monday morning by Mainstreet Research, among decided and leaning voters, the BC Liberals have 44.7 per cent support while the NDP have 32.2 per cent . The Greens have 13.7 per cent while the BC Conservatives have seven per cent.

When asking respondents which candidate they would vote for, Tony Harris of the Liberals has 43.5 per cent while the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson has 35 per cent. Michele Ney of the Green Party has 12.2 per cent , while Justin Greenwood of the BC Conservatives has 2.5 per cent.

Mainstreet conducted the survey last Wednesday and Thursday with 753 voters in Nanaimo and says the margin of error is +/- 3.54 per cent and accurate 19 out of 20 times.

Mainstreet Research President and CEO Quito Maggi says no matter what angle is taken, the Liberals are ahead in a riding that has been an NDP stronghold, with wins in 13 of the last 15 provincial elections.

“No matter if we ask for party names or candidate names, the BC Liberals are leading,” Maggi said in the release.

When it comes to party support, decided and leaning voters favour the Liberals with 44.7 per cent support to 32.2 per cent for the governing NDP.

If the Liberals win Wednesday’s byelection, it would likely lead to an early provincial election.

A Liberal win would give the party 43 seats, tying it with the 43 seats held by the NDP and the Green party, which signed an agreement in 2017 allowing the New Democrats to form a minority government.

B.C. Libertarian Bill Walker and Robin Richardson of the Vancouver Island Party are also competing in the Nanaimo byelection.

But Maggi says with so much at stake for the Nanaimo seat, voter turnout will be important.

“Turnout is usually a function of voter motivation and party organization and that should be reflected in the final vote,” Maggi said.

“The BC NDP are literally fighting for the government’s life in Nanaimo so it would not be a surprise if the final numbers will be tighter than our findings.”

General voting day for the Nanaimo byelection is Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. You can watch CHEK News’ special coverage of the byelection from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by our regular newscast at 10 p.m.

CHEK