Dix, B.C. NDP continue to build lead in poll

A new poll is suggesting B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix is overtaking B.C. Liberal Leader and Premier Christy Clark as the most popular choice to be the province's premier.
The latest Angus Reid polls shows the B.C. NDP continuing to build their lead on the governing B.C. Liberals. (Angus Reid Public Opinion)

A new poll is suggesting B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix has overtaken B.C. Liberal Leader and Premier Christy Clark as the most popular choice to be the province's premier.

The poll of 800 B.C. voters by Angus Reid Public Opinion found 26 per cent of those surveyed thought Dix was the best choice to lead the province, compared with 22 per cent for Clark, eight per cent for Conservative Leader John Cummins and three per cent for Green Leader Jane Sterk.

The result suggests Dix has overtaken Clark for the first time since the two were elected as leaders. In the last poll conducted in November, Clark was the top choice for 25 per cent of those surveyed, compared to Dix's 19 per cent support.

Premier Christy Clark dismissed the poll, saying her focus is on creating jobs in B.C., not worrying about the numbers.

"We've seen the polls bounce around a bit, that's for sure, but I think there's all kinds of different statistics out there," she said.

"If I spend my time thinking about the polls, I'm not going to be spending it thinking about jobs and that's what we have to be thinking about. There's an election in a year and a half."

Pollster Mario Canseco says the new survey also shows that the NDP base appears satisfied with the decision to bring in a new leader.

"Dix’s predecessor Carole James was not able to be seen as a premier-in-waiting even after the controversy that led to Campbell’s resignation," said Canseco.

Liberal fall continues

Dix is also seen as an increasingly credible leader by B.C. voters on wide range of issues, tied with Clark as the best person to deal with the economy and crime, and leading the premier on health care, education and the environment.

The latest figures also suggest the B.C. NDP as a party is continuing to build on a lead it established on the B.C. Liberals last year, while the Liberals continue to fall in the polls.

If an election were called immediately, 42 per cent of those surveyed said they would vote for the NDP, compared with 28 per cent for the Liberals, 19 per cent for the Conservatives and 10 per cent for the Greens.

According to Mario Canseco, the last time the B.C. Liberals dropped below 30 per cent was just before former premier Gordon Campbell announced his resignation, brought on by the unpopular introduction of the HST.

Canseco said the results also show that the B.C. Conservatives continue to pick up supporters in Metro Vancouver and the B.C. Interior while the NDP continues to dominate on Vancouver Island.

The governing Liberals posted their best results with respondents aged 55 and over, with 31 per cent voter support, still nine points behind the NDP, said Canseco.

The online poll, which was conducted from Jan. 27 to 29 using a representative sample of B.C. voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent 19 times out of 20, according to Angus Reid.