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BC Liberals lead NDP by 11 points: Environics

The governing B.C. Liberal Party lead the opposition B.C. New Democratic Party, according to a survey by Environics Research Group.

Among decided voters in B.C., 47 per cent say they would vote for the B.C. Liberals. That's about the same vote share they pulled in 2005.

The New Democratic Party trails at 36 per cent. That represents a drop of six points from their popular vote in 2005.

Another 12 per cent would support the B.C. Green Party compared to the nine percent they won in 2005. Five per cent support the B.C. Conservatives and others. Sixteen percent of eligible voters are undecided or say they would not vote.

The Environics poll was commissioned by the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. – a group that is on record supporting the B.C. Liberals.

The survey of 601 eligible voters in British Columbia was conducted in between April 30 and May 2, 2009. These results are assumed to be accurate to within +/-4.0 percentage points, in 95 out of 100 samples.

The Environics release also notes the following:

Regional and Demographic Patterns. There are some clear regional and demographic patterns in party support. The B.C. Liberals have an overwhelming lead in the Fraser Valley/outer GVRD, while the NDP is ahead on Vancouver Island. The race is close in the City of Vancouver/inner suburbs and in the interior. It is also notable that men and older voters tend to strongly support the B.C. Liberals, while among women and among younger and middle-aged voters, party support is more evenly divided. Support for the Green Party is heavily concentrated among younger voters and they are also most likely to say they may change their mind about how they will vote.

Most important issue/factor. When British Columbians are asked what will be the most important issue or factor that will influence how they vote in the election (asked unprompted, without offering choices), the most common responses relate to the economy (31%), followed by various political factors such as leadership, honesty in gov’t, local candidates and platform (20%), and health care (11%). Eight percent mention environmental issues and eight percent mention education. A further 22 percent have no opinion.

Best Premier. Gordon Campbell has a clear lead when British Columbians are asked which party leader would make the best premier with 45 percent choosing him. The proportion that think Gordon Campbell would make the best premier is virtually identical to the percentage who would vote for his party. Carol James lags far behind on this question, with 25 percent feeling that she would make the best premier – a number that is significantly less than the proportion who would vote for her party. Just five percent think Jane Sterk would make the best premier. One-quarter have no opinion on who would make the best premier or say “none of the above.”

Managing the B.C. economy. Gordon Campbell and the B.C. Liberals are the choice of one-half of British Columbians (52%) on the specific question of who would do the best job on managing the B.C. economy, compared to just 25 percent who choose Carol James and the NDP, and four percent who choose Jane Sterk and the Green Party. Another 19 percent have no opinion or feel they would all be the same.

Right track/wrong track. One-half of British Columbians (50%) feel that the current B.C. provincial government has the province on the right track, compared to 36 percent who feel it has the province on the wrong track. Fourteen percent have no opinion.

Monte Paulsen reports for The

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