B.C. Conservative Support Collapsing, Says Angus Reid Poll

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The latest Angus Reid survey shows B.C. Premier Christy Clark's Liberals have been winning back supporters from the Conservatives, but the opposition NDP still has a commanding lead in the polls.

The online survey of 800 B.C. voters found Conservative support was cut in half in just eight months, from a high of 23 per cent in March to just 12 per cent in November — their lowest level of support in 18 months.

Some of that loss was picked up by the Liberals who rose from 23 to 29 per cent over the same period. It was the second month in a row that the Liberals had picked up support in the poll.

Meanwhile the NDP under Adrian Dix continues to top the polls with 47 per cent support, a rise of five percentage points since March. The Green Party rose slightly to nine per cent in the latest poll.

The results come as the leaders attempt to prepare their parties for the next B.C. election, scheduled for May 2013.

In recent months Clark has worked hard to promote her B.C. Jobs agenda, while Cummins has been battle infighting, resignations and attempts by his own party members to force him to step down.

Meanwhile Dix has managed to present himself successfully as the premier-in-waiting.

Clark connecting with voters

Pollster Mario Canseco said the poll shows the B.C. Conservatives have been struggling to connect with voters while Clark is gaining support for her economic leadership.

"Premier Clark had trailed Opposition Leader Dix on this question for several months, and is now once again being seen as a capable economic manager," said Canseco.

"In the Interior, where [the Conservatives] were in a close race to become the most popular centre-right alternative, they are now a distant third.

"The approval rating for Cummins is low, and voters who may have been disenchanted with the B.C. Liberals a few months ago, are no longer looking at the B.C. Conservatives as a viable option."

Canseco says the key to the NDP's continued dominance of the polls is Dix's popularity.

"The NDP continues to hold the upper hand in British Columbia’s political scene, buoyed by an encouraging retention rate and the fact that roughly half of respondents are satisfied with the performance of its leader," he said.

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