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B.C. NDP still No. 1 in popularity, poll finds

Jul 11 2012

B.C.'s New Democrats remain considerably more popular than the governing Liberals, according to a new poll.

Roughly 45 per cent of decided voters support the NDP, compared to 23 per cent for the B.C. Liberals, 22 per cent for the B.C. Conservatives and eight per cent for the Green party, according to an Angus Reid online survey released Tuesday.

Vancouver Island continues to remain safe NDP territory, with 46 per cent of people polled intending to vote New Democrat.

Those numbers have held roughly the same for months, and continue to mean bad news for the Liberals, who have seen more than half of their 2009 voters leave to support other parties, said Mario Canseco, Angus Reid vice-president.

"For a government that is facing an election in 10 months, it's difficult, because they are not only losing support to the B.C. Conservatives, which was the sound bite de jour four or five months ago - now they are losing votes to the NDP," Canseco said.

The poll surveyed 801 randomly selected adults between July 3 and 5 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent.

The Liberals remain near the record-low popularity levels experienced under former premier Gordon Campbell, Canseco said.

Since May, support for the NDP has dropped percentage five points, which was picked up by the Conservatives and Greens, Canseco said. Still, the level of support for the party is the second-highest since Adrian Dix became leader, Canseco said.

B.C. Liberal campaign director Mike McDonald said the numbers would change when British Columbians got a look at the NDP's economic plan and how the party plans to balance the budget while paying for all its spending promises.

"When the hard questions are asked of Adrian Dix, that's going to put a spotlight on the NDP - which they have studiously avoided so far," McDonald said.

Dix said he would continue to focus on positive solutions that resonate with the public.

"I plan to campaign on the economy, the single and most important issue in the next election, and I'm not conceding any ground on that issue," he said.

"We're going to continue bringing forward practical solutions. And it's always the people who get to decide in the end, and I'm happy to let them do that."

THE NUMBERS

If a provincial election were held tomorrow, which party would you be most likely to support in your constituency?

NDP 45%

Liberals 23%

Conservatives 22%

Green 8%

rshaw@timescolonist.com

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