Support for the B.C. New Democrats has grown to half of the decided voters, according to the latest poll by Angus Reid, which shows support for the official opposition party led by Adrian Dix has climbed seven per cent since April.
The 802 respondents were asked, "If a provincial election were held tomorrow in British Columbia, which one of the following parties would you be most likely to support in your constituency?"
With the next provincial election exactly one year away, support for the governing B.C. Liberals remained at 23 per cent, while support for the upstart B.C. Conservatives appeared to have fallen four percentage points to 19 per cent. The Green Party was fourth with six per cent support.
The poll also asked respondents how they would vote if the Liberals and Conservatives were to merge in a "free enterprise coalition" under three different possible leaders.
Twenty percent of those surveyed said they would support a coalition led by current Liberal Premier Christy Clark, but 21 per cent said they would support coalition lead by current Finance Minister Kevin Falcon. Seventeen per cent indicated they would lead a coalition led by Conservative leader John Cummins.
Pollster Mario Conseco noted the poll also found a merger of the two parties would create a large pool of undecided voters.
"In all three scenarios, the NDP would garner the backing of about a third of British Columbians, but it is important to note that the level of undecided voters grows dramatically, from 16 per cent in the traditional ballot question, to at least 34 per cent in the questions related to the 'free enterprise coalition,'" said Canseco.
"This discrepancy shows that, while the idea of a merger does not immediately materialize in a high level of support for the centre-right option, a significant portion of the electorate remains uncommitted."
The results come on the same day Falcon is scheduled to roll out legislation to roll back the highly unpopular HST and reinstate the PST and GST in the legislature in Victoria.
The online survey of 802 B.C. residents was conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion from May 7 to May 9, 2012.
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