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BC NDP 12 points ahead of Liberals: EKOS

A new EKOS poll indicates a B.C. NDP lead of almost 12 points over the provincial Liberals, and also shows surprisingly high support for the Conservatives and Greens.

The poll, released today, shows 39 percent of British Columbians plan to vote for the New Democrats in the May 14 election, compared to 27.4 percent for the Liberals. The B.C. Conservatives enjoy 14.6 percent support and the Green Party is at 13.5 percent.

In its analysis of the poll, EKOS noted:

Further strengthening the NDP's lead is the demographic composition of their supporters. Unlike their Ontario counterparts who have been hamstringed by their younger, dispassionate base, BC's NDP party leads handily with Baby Boomers and is fiercely competitive among BC's seniors, groups that consistently vote in record numbers.

In an another interesting development, the BC Conservative Party has leapt from virtual obscurity in the last election to third place and now controls 15 per cent of the vote. At these numbers, there is a very realistic probability that the party may elect its first representative to the legislature since Victor Stephens' win in the 1978 Oak Bay by-election.

Finally, the BC Green Party stands at a seemingly impressive 14 points. This rise may simply be the result of frustration with the mainstream parties, but merits watching as we have seen a broad based rise in Green Party support throughout the country (in addition to "other" parties).

The breakdown shows New Democrats leading among many groups of voters. Among women, 44.9 percent support the NDP compared with 21.4 percent for the Liberals. The Liberals trail the NDP in all age groups and all education levels from high school or less to university or higher. The Liberals also trail the NDP among both native-born Canadians and immigrants.

In a tweet, EKOS president Frank Graves said his interactive phone poll prompts respondents by naming the political parties, "which may explain part of this" surge by the Conservatives and Greens.

On February 8, the blog analyzed another poll which put the NDP 22 point ahead of the Liberals, with the Conservatives at 11.6 percent and the Greens at 8.5 percent.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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