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Poll puts Liberals and NDP even in BC

A political poll released today has the New Democratic Party and the British Columbia Liberal Party, each in the midst of a leadership change, in a dead heat.

A large number of respondents, however, were either undecided or not planning to support either party.

“The recent leadership discussions in the two main parties have clearly benefited the BC Liberals,” said the report from Angus Reid Public Opinion.

The NDP and Liberals were tied with 36 percent support of respondents. The last Angus Reid poll, released in November, had given the NDP a 21 percent lead that appears to have disappeared.

The December poll, conducted Dec. 7 to 8 after NDP leader Carole James resigned, surveyed 804 randomly selected British Columbians. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

The poll found that each of the main parties had the support of 14 percent of respondents, regardless of who the leaders are. Another 16 percent said they don't plan to back either the NDP or the Liberals.

That means, it said, 57 percent of British Columbians are going to ponder their options, with one out of five totally unsure who they will support.

The Green Party had 14 percent support and the Conservatives six percent.

The poll also asked about possible party leaders. It found 51 percent of BC Liberal voters and 41 percent of B.C. residents thought Christy Clark was a good choice to replace Gordon Campbell as Liberal leader. Kevin Falcon came second, slightly ahead of Mike de Jong, with the support of 42 percent of Liberal voters and 29 percent of British Columbians.

And 43 percent of NDP voters and 34 percent of residents thought Mike Farnworth would be a good choice to replace James as head of the NDP. MLA Jenny Kwan and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson each had the support of 27 percent of British Columbians.

The full report from Angus Reid is available here.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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