VICTORIA -- Recent polls from Insights West and Research Co. have found that the BC NDP have an edge on competing parties in the early days of the provincial election.

While responses from Insights West’s most recent survey show that the majority of British Columbians oppose the NDP’s decision to call an early election amid the pandemic, the New Democrats are still ahead in the election race.

According to Insights, 58 per cent of survey respondents say they oppose NDP leader John Horgan’s decision to announce a snap election. In total, 30 per cent of respondents say they are “strongly opposed” to the election, while 27 per cent say they are “somewhat opposed.”

Despite general disapproval of an early election, the number of people who intended to vote for the New Democrats has only dipped slightly since the summer. Forty-two per cent of decided and leaning voters say they plan to vote for the NDP, down from 47 per cent in June, according to Insights.

Just two days into the election campaign, 29 per cent of decided or leaning voters say they intend to support the BC Liberals, while 16 per cent say they are planning to vote for the BC Green Party. A further 12 per cent say they intend to vote for the BC Conservatives.

According to Insights, 20 per cent of all eligible voters are still undecided, with weeks of the election campaign still remaining.

“In the early stages of this race, it appears that despite public opposition to the snap election, voter intentions have not shifted dramatically,” said Steve Mossop, president of Insights West in a release Thursday.

“Approval ratings for Horgan are among the highest of any sitting premier, and our previous government report card (June) indicated that his government has received top marks for its handling of COVID-19 as well as many other government files,” he said. “The question is whether Horgan will be forgiven for calling an early election, and whether COVID-19 infection levels are able to be contained during the election period.”

Poll results released by Research Co. on Thursday are similar to the findings by Insights West, with the B.C. NDP taking an early lead followed by the B.C. Liberals.

In total, 44 per cent of decided voters say they intend to vote for the BC NDP in this election, according to Research Co.’s survey.

Meanwhile, 37 per cent of decided or leaning voters say they will vote for the BC Liberals. A further 13 per cent they will support the BC Green Party while 4 per cent intend to vote for the BC Conservative Party.

Research Co. notes that voter priorities vary widely between age demographics.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents aged 18-to-34 say that housing, poverty and homelessness are their most pressing concerns, while the most urgent matter for people aged 35-to-54 was economy and jobs, at 26 per cent. Meanwhile, health-care was the most pressing issue for people aged 55 and over, with 29 per cent placing it as their most priority during the election.

Research Co. conducted its online survey between Sept. 21 and Sept. 23. A total of 750 people responded to the survey, which has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, according to the company.

Insights West conducted its survey of 1,000 B.C. residents between Sept. 22 and Sept. 23. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 per centage points, 19 times of out 20, according to Insights.