The governing BC Liberal party has dropped to a tie for second place with the BC Conservative party, according to a poll released Monday.
The poll backs up MLA John van Dongen’s assertion in Chilliwack on Saturday that the conservative vote has already split in B.C.
The online survey by Angus Reid of a “representative sample” of 800 British Columbian adults also showed that NDP Leader Adrian Dix is keeping a comfortable lead over Premier Christy Clark.
“Over the past 12 months, the New Democrats have slowly but steadily gained five points, and have seen Dix become both the preferred premier and the leader with the highest approval rating,” Angus Reid pollsters said.
“In the same period, the BC Liberals have seen their support among decided voters drop by 20 points – going from first place to a tie for second – while the BC Conservatives have improved their standing by 18 points.”
Survey analysts also said that since the teachers “work stoppage” and van Dongen’s “defection” to the BC Conservatives, the BC Liberal government has fallen to its lowest level since July, 2010 “immediately after the harmonized sales tax came into force under Gordon Campbell.”
“If an election were held today, the BC Liberals would receive half the votes they received in 2009,” the Angus Reid analysts said.
“One-third of the voters who supported the Campbell-led BC Liberals in 2009 are now backing the BC Conservatives,” the analysts concluded. “The party appears to be enjoying a surge in support after van Dongen decided to join. The analysts added that although the numbers for BC Conservative Party Leader John Cummins are better than what he posted in January, “many British Columbians are not yet fully aware of his activities.”
The online survey, conducted from March 29 to March 30, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent.
Key findings: 43 per cent intend to vote for the NDP, 23 per cent for the BC Liberals and 23 per cent for the BC Conservatives; Dix has an approval rating of 45 per cent, Clark 32 per cent and Cummins 28 per cent; 25 per cent rated Dix the Best Premier, followed by Clark at 17 per cent and Cummins at 12 per cent.