12/20/2012 08:36 EST | Updated 02/19/2013 05:12 EST

Adrian Dix optimistic heading into election year

B.C. Opposition Leader Adrian Dix has a few things in common with his chief political rival, Premier Christy Clark – they both say 2012 has been a good year for them and both look forward to 2013 and the May general election.

Dix sat down with the CBC's Gloria Macarenko, as the premier did earlier this week, for a year-end interview. And like Clark, the NDP leader offered up some cautious optimism.

“The NDP has won three out of the last 21 elections [in B.C], which is a better record than say the Canucks winning Stanley Cups, but not any guarantee of victory. We've still got to earn the victory.”

Dix is heading into 2013 with about a 13-point lead in the polls, but he does still need to contend with government attacks over his plans as well as internal challenges to deal with the expectations of his own supporters.

“We have to, in the election campaign, tell people what our priorities are, then tell them there are some things that we all support that we can't afford right now because the budgetary situation doesn't allow for that," said Dix.

Dix is pledging to stick with a positive, no-smear campaign, something he says Clark’s Liberals have forsaken already with their months-long negative ad campaign against him and his party.