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POLL: Sixty-one per cent say time for different party to lead BC

As the provincial election campaign gets underway, a new poll suggests the New Democrats have a 17-point lead on the governing BC Liberals.

The Angus Reid poll doesn't offer much good news for the Liberals. Some 61 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: "It is time for a change in government in British Columbia -- a different provincial party should be elected into power."

Only 22 per cent agreed with the statement: "It is not time for a change in government in British Columbia -– the BC Liberals should be re-elected." A further 17 per cent were unsure.

Of those respondents who said they voted for the Liberals in 2009, only 46 per cent said the government should be re-elected.

Among decided and leaning voters, the NDP leads with 45 per cent support, with the Liberals at 28 per cent, the Green party at 13, the B.C. Conservatives at 12 and others, including independents, at three per cent.

The Liberals did their best with voters over 55, although they still trailed the NDP by 12 points in this demographic –- 33 per cent to the NDP's 45 per cent. The one demographic where the Liberals did well was in households with an annual income of more than $100,000. The governing party led there with 43 per cent support to the NDP's 34 per cent.

NDP leader Adrian Dix's approval ratings fell in this poll, but are still well ahead of Premier Christy Clark's.

The Liberals may take some comfort from the following statement from pollster Mario Canseco:

"While the level of undecided voters in this survey is 13 per cent, more than two-in-five respondents cannot pick a 'best premier' for the province just four weeks before the new Legislative Assembly is elected. This finding suggests that the current numbers may go through fluctuations, depending on factors such as identification with candidates in specific ridings and, unquestionably, the televised debate scheduled for April 29."

The Reid poll was taken Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 among 804 members of an online panel. Reid quotes a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20 (see note below).

Polling for B.C. election 2013 as of April 16, 2013
Company Date Lib NDP Cons Green Other Method Sample +/-
Angus Reid 17-18 Jan 31 46 10 10 3 Online 802 3.5
Mustel 11-21 Jan 33 43 11 11 2 Phone 509 4.3
Justason 25 Jan - 1 Feb 26 48 12 11 3 Phone-online 600 4
Ekos 1-10 Feb 27.4 39 14.6 13.5 5.5 IVR* 687 3.7
Angus Reid 22-21 Feb 31 47 9 10 3 Online 803 3.5
Ipsos 8-12 Mar 32 51 9 7 1 Online 1,000 3.1
Angus Reid 18-19 Mar 28 48 11 11 2 Online 809 3.5
Insights West 26-31 Mar 28 45 10 15 2 Online 855 3.4
Ekos 3-10 Apr 27.3 39.3 13.4 16.2 3.8 IVR* 793 3.5
Angus Reid 12-13 Apr 28 45 12 13 3 Online 804 3.5

*Interactive Voice Response.

Note: The sampling error margins given here are those provided by the pollster. While online polls have been very successful at predicting recent elections, there is a methodological controversy surrounding the citing of margins of error for online polls. Some experts hold that it is inappropriate to quote a margin of error for an online poll because participants in such polls are drawn from volunteer panels, rather than chosen at random from the general population. For more on this issue, see this story.

Find Tyee election reporting team member and contributing editor Tom Barrett’s previous Tyee articles here. Find him on Twitter or email him here.

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