B.C. NDP widens lead days before election: poll
Andrew Weichel, CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, May 10, 2013 6:03PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, May 10, 2013 7:27PM PDT
The scrappier Adrian Dix who emerged this week in the face of ongoing Liberal attack ads appears to have pushed his party further ahead in the polls.
A new Angus Reid Public Opinion survey released Friday suggests the B.C. New Democrats have stretched their previous seven-point lead to nine points, with just days to go before the provincial election.
Pollster Mario Canseco said the findings also represent the first time respondents were shown an actual 2013 election ballot during polling.
Forty-five per cent said they either intend to vote NDP or already have at an advanced polling station, compared to 36 per cent hoping for another Liberal term.
“We need to remember the last election was won by the BC Liberals by just four points; a nine point lead would mean a victory for the NDP,” Canseco said.
Nine per cent of respondents supported the BC Greens, while just six per cent continued to favour the Conservatives, who’ve been hit hard in the polls following a handful of scandals that forced four candidates out of the race.
Dix, who pledged to contrast the BC Liberals by running a “positive campaign,” ramped up his criticism of Premier Christy Clark and her government Monday after a number of polls found the NDP’s once-daunting lead had plummeted from 17 points to seven following the televised leaders’ debate.
“There was a more aggressive stance on the part of the NDP to talk about the Liberal record, which is something that happens consistently in the final stages of the campaign,” Canseco said in an email. “I think it certainly helped.”
New Democrats unveiled an online ad Wednesday highlighting the Liberals’ harmonized sales tax debacle, BC Rail scandal, and allegedly misleading budget numbers.
Dix also alluded to Clark’s recent decision to run a red light with her 11-year-old son in the car, telling reporters the Liberals “have driven through every four-way stop to mislead.”
The NDP Leader insists he continues to run a positive campaign.
Canseco said the latest polling shift was also due in part to the use of an actual ballot in polling, since some voters who had intended to vote Green or Conservative realized the parties were not running in their ridings.
The survey found Christy Clark was still perceived to be the leader best-suited to manage B.C.’s economy, at 32 per cent over Dix’s 26 per cent.
She also led on the issue of federal-provincial relations, while Dix was favoured on health care, crime, the environment and education.
Overall, 30 per cent of respondents said Dix would make the best premier, an increase of four per cent over the last poll conducted at the beginning of May.
Twenty-five per cent favoured Clark, an increase of one per cent. Green Leader Jane Sterk dropped one per cent to tie with the Conservatives’ John Cummins, who held steady at five per cent.
The online poll was conducted on May 9 and 10 among 808 randomly selected B.C. adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Another poll is due to hit on Monday, the day before British Columbians head to the polls.