04/23/2013 11:11 EDT | Updated 06/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Health care, education top issues for B.C. voters

Health care, education, and the environment are the top issues for voters in the B.C. election, according to CBC's Vote Compass political questionnaire and position comparison tool.

Since it was launched for the 2013 B.C. provincial election, more than 27,000 responses have been logged, and the results so far suggest that health care, education and the environment are the top issues in the B.C. election.

The responses logged through CBC's Vote Compass questionnaires may also suggest that Liberal Leader Christy Clark's campaign focus on B.C. natural gas industry is missing the mark with voters.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark has spent much of the first week of the election campaign promoting her vision for the province's natural gas industry, but that issue only ranks sixth overall for voters, except in north and central B.C. where voters rank oil and gas as the fourth most important issue.

In comparison, the NDP hit most of the top issues for voters during the first week, announcing new policies for education, the environment, and social programs, with an announcement on health care expected this week.

The 27,000 responses show that seniors rate health care as more important than younger voters. The issues also split along gender lines with women ranking health care, education, the environment, social programs and First Nations higher, while men rank budget and taxes as more important issues for them.

The Vote Compass voter engagement application has been used in elections across Canada by CBC News and in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal.

CBC's Vote Compass is a unique online tool developed with the input of political scientists at several Canadian universities, including the University of British Columbia. The B.C. Votes 2013 edition asks voters a series of questions on popular election issues specific to B.C.

It then compares their answers to the official party platforms and the positions of the leaders and shows the user which parties they are most closely aligned with.

British Columbians head to the polls May 14.