BC Liberals' popularity tumbles as HST rolls in
Jenna Owsianik, ctvbc.ca
Published Tuesday, July 13, 2010 3:27PM PDT
The BC Liberals' popularity continues to fall since the Harmonized Sales Tax came into effect, according to a new survey released by Angus Reid Public Opinion.
Results from an online poll of 801 British Columbians showed a 23-point drop in people who would vote for BC Liberals in July, down from the 46 per cent of people who voted for the party in May 2009.
"This shows they've lost half of the voters that they had in the last election, which is a monumental decline," Angus Reid Public Opinion Vice President Mario Canseco told ctvbc.ca.
Support for BC Liberals slipped to 35 per cent in March, 29 per cent in April and 26 per cent in June.
"We thought that was low, but now they're at 23 (per cent) in July, so it's definitely related to the HST, which has been remarkably unpopular all throughout B.C.," Canseco said.
The poll found that 76 per cent of respondents are against the controversial new tax, and that 75 per cent would vote to abolish the tax if there were a referendum.
Results show that 30 per cent of British Columbians believe the HST will severely affect their household finances. In response to the tax, 70 per cent said they will dine out less often, approximately 60 per cent will go out to fewer sporting events and movies and 55 per cent will buy less magazines or newspapers.
In total, 67 per cent of respondents living in BC Liberal ridings said they would sign a petition to recall their MLAs – a five-point jump from June.
Premier Gordon Campbell's popularity is also on the decline.
Seventy-two per cent of those polled said their opinion of Campbell worsened over the past three months. Only one per cent reported it improving.
As for the New Democrats, 18 per cent said their opinion of party leader Carole James worsened while 10 per cent said it improved. The NDP leads in the poll with 46 per cent of voter support.
Angus Reid Public Opinion claims a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 per cent.