Campbell's approval rating drops to single digits
Backlash over the Harmonized Sales Tax continues to dog BC Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell, whose approval rating has stooped to an all-time low of nine per cent, according to an Angus Reid poll released Friday.
Last month, Campbell's approval rating dropped to 12 per cent, making him Canada's least popular sitting premier. Pollster Mario Canseco says the latest drop puts him among the least popular on record.
"It's the lowest we've ever seen in B.C. or across Canada, and we've been doing this for four decades," he said.
Canseco, vice president of Angus Reid Public Opinion, blamed the HST for voter dissatisfaction and said the premier will continue to take a beating over the tax because the public is constantly reminded of its presence.
"Every time we go out for dinner and we're paying $12 tax instead of $7 there is a reminder," he said. "And the lightning rod for this type of animosity is always the premier."
The Liberal party is suffering as well. Almost half of those polled said they would vote NDP if an election were held tomorrow, while only 24 per cent said they would vote Liberal.
NDP Leader Carole James' approval rating was at a modest 27 per cent, however, an issue the party will soon have to face. "People are not very happy with Carole James necessarily," Canseco said. "If she is not perceived as a leader, all of this support might go away before the next election."
Thirteen per cent said they would vote Green, and 12 per cent approved of how Green Leader Jane Sterk is handling her duties.
Another eight per cent said they would vote for the currently leaderless BC Conservatives.
The online poll, which surveyed 804 adults on Oct. 13 and 14, also showed disdain for the HST holding strong. More than 70 per cent of respondents said they would vote to abolish the tax in the pending referendum scheduled for next September.
"It's been steady. We ask the question every month and three of four people say they hate this thing," Canseco said.
Another 21 per cent said they would vote to keep the tax. Seven per cent said they were undecided.
The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus 3.5 per cent.