Malcolmson and Harris in ‘virtual tie’ for byelection support, Mainstreet survey

Malcolmson and Harris in 'virtual tie' for byelection support, Mainstreet survey

Photo courtesy Tourism Nanaimo.

Photo courtesy Tourism Nanaimo.

If a new Mainstreet Research poll is any indication, the firm NDP grip on the Nanaimo seat in the legislature may be tested in the upcoming byelection.

Mainstreet reports Sheila Malcolmson and Tony Harris are in a virtual tie among Nanaimo respondents to the survey when asked which candidate they would support if a byelection was held today.

Support for Malcolmson, the NDP candidate, is 38.9 per cent among decided and leaning voters, up 1.6 per cent over Liberal candidate Tony Harris.

That margin is the same among all voters, which includes undecided Nanaimo residents.

The poll results show Malcolmson is popular as voters get older, from 30.6 per cent support from those aged 18-to-34 climbing to 40.6 per cent of those 65-years-old and over.

Harris has more support among male voters at 39.8 per cent and of those between 35-and-64-years-old.

The two candidates are tied in the 18-to-34 category, but Malcolmson has the edge by nearly 10 per cent among the group of 65-plus and by four per cent among female voters.

Among decided and leaning voters, Conservative candidate Bryce Nelson Crigger has 9.3 per cent support, with 6.8 per cent of respondents saying they would choose Green Party candidate Kathleen Harris.

The seat is available since former MLA Leonard Krog, who was the MLA for the Nanaimo riding for the NDP since 2005, became mayor of the city in October.

The byelection could sway the balance of power in the legislature.

If Harris wins, the Liberals would have 43 seats, the same as the NDP- Green coalition government.

The by-election date hasn’t been announced, but will likely take place before the Legislature returns in February.

Among all voters in the riding, Premier John Horgan has 41.4 per cent support, ten points more than Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson.



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