Wednesday, January 21, 2009

BC: Worried voters turn to Liberals

This is from the Vancouver Province.

This is a bit surprising given the unpopularity of the Liberal carbon tax. However, gasoline prices have declined substantially so that the issue has no doubt declined in importance. Given that the election is not until May the polls could change substantially but it looks as if the NDP has an uphill battle.

Worried voters turn to Liberals

John Bermingham
The Province
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
A new voter poll shows the B.C. Liberals widening their lead over the New Democrats.
The Mustel Group poll, taken Jan. 8 to 15, shows a 13-point lead for the Liberals, at 47 per cent, compared with 33 per cent for the NDP. The B.C. Greens are at 16 per cent.
In a November poll, the NDP was at 42 per cent, two points behind the Liberals, at 44 per cent.
The latest polls shows 50 per cent approval for Premier Gordon Campbell, compared with 40 per cent approval for NDP Leader Carole James.
In November, Campbell was sitting at 47 per cent, with James at 44.
Pollster Evi Mustel said voters are shifting to the Liberals because of economic woes and job worries.
Mustel said the NDP made some inroads in popular support last fall with their message opposing the government's carbon tax.
"With the economy and jobs being the most pressing concern, that support has gone to the Liberals," she said.
Gerry Scott, the NDP's campaign co-manager said, the poll doesn't reflect what his party is seeing on the ground.
"This is a very competitive race right now," Scott said.
Finance Minister Colin Hansen said the poll shows voter volatility.
"We fully expect the election on May 12 is going to be highly competitive, and we're taking nothing for granted," he said.
"It's the strength of the B.C. economy today that's allowing us to weather this economic storm," he added.
Norman Ruff, emeritus professor of political science at the University of Victoria, said the poll is a setback for the NDP.
"The NDP have a dilemma, in terms of what message-track to go into the May election on," he said.
The random poll of 750 B.C. adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent, 95 per cent of the time.
© The Vancouver Province 2009

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