NDP builds lead over B.C. Liberals
NDP builds lead over B.C. Liberals Carbon tax, pay hikes for bureaucrats wipe out governing party's advantage Canwest News ServicePublished: Sunday, November 16, 2008
Municipal elections aren't the only ones on the minds of B.C. politicians this weekend.
Political junkies have spent part of the weekend parsing the results of a new poll that shows with fewer than six months to go before the next provincial election, B.C.'s New Democratic Party has expanded its narrow lead over Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberals.
Conducted online by Angus Reid Strategies, the poll puts the New Democrats five percentage points ahead of the ruling Liberals, who as recently as last spring had been holding onto a steady double-digit lead in a variety of surveys.http://my.nowpublic.com/local/Vancouver
Angus Reid data show that lead disappeared in late summer -- after the introduction of the carbon tax and the announcement of pay increases for public service executives -- with the NDP gaining a three-point lead in an Angus Reid poll in late August.
Many observers expected Campbell would regain the upper hand, however, with his recent focus on the economy.
Campbell has tried to gain centre stage on economic issues by delivering a 10-point plan on prime-time television last month and by rolling out a freeze on property assessments.
Campbell has also recalled the legislature for this coming Thursday to deal with economic issues, and his party has launched an aggressive campaign to cast NDP Leader Carole James as a dangerous choice in light of the current global economic crisis.
Angus Reid Strategies vice-president Mario Canseco said the new poll shows it has not been enough to regain the lead.
In the poll, the NDP got 44 per cent support compared to 39 per cent who supported the Liberals. Eleven per cent said they support the Green party.
Conducted online among 802 British Columbians between Nov. 6 and Nov. 11, the poll is considered accurate to within 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
"I think the Liberals ... basically thought after they came out with this economic statement they were going to look a little bit better -- people were going to think about it twice and go this is not the time for something radical to happen in the government," said Canseco.
"The way the electorate is relating to Campbell, it is going to take more than a couple of gestures to turn them around."
When it comes to the premier people prefer, Campbell gets 34 per cent support, while James gets 32 per cent.
Canseco said, however, the poll clearly shows people think Campbell can manage the economy much better than James. Forty one per cent of people said they think Campbell can manage the economy effectively, while only 18 per cent said the same of James.
On Friday, Campbell said he thinks it is too early to be putting stock into any polls.