The NDP and Liberal candidates in the Nanaimo provincial byelection are neck and neck, according to a poll released by Mainstreet Research.
Among decided and leaning voters, the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo, has 39.8 per cent of support, while businessman Tony Harris of the B.C. Liberals has 38.2 per cent.
This critical seat in the B.C. legislature is up for grabs because NDP MLA Leonard Krog was elected mayor of Nanaimo. Krog has not yet announced when he will be stepping down, but Premier John Horgan said that the byelection will be held before February’s budget.
Results of the byelection are crucial to the balance of power in B.C. because the NDP’s minority government is only in power thanks to support from three Green MLAs.
Krog, a five-term MLA, did not receive a cabinet post after the NDP formed the government. Nanaimo residents from all sectors of the community had urged him to run for mayor and he did so, sweeping to victory with a large margin.
He has said that Nanaimo is a safe seat for the NDP. The poll puts that in question.
The sample size is 594, and margin of error is plus or minus 4.02 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Three surveys using automated telephone interviews were held between Nov. 10 and Nov. 11.
Mainstreet Research said that it was responsible for the poll and it was not hired by a third party. — Times Colonist