04/26/2013 04:47 EDT | Updated 06/26/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. Liberals Gaining But NDP Still Ahead In Latest Poll

The latest Angus Reid poll shows the B.C. Liberals are slowly gaining support, but the NDP are still leading by a comfortable margin of 14 percentage points after the first week of the election campaign.

According to the online survey of 812 B.C. voters, of those decided or leaning to one party, 45 per cent said they would vote for the NDP if an election were held the next day.

The B.C. Liberals picked up three percentage points of support since the last poll in April, putting them at 31 per cent, according to the poll which was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday.

The poll found support for the B.C. Conservatives dropped one point to 11 per cent while the Greens fell three percentage points to 10 per cent.

NDP Leader Adrian Dix remained the most popular party leader amongst voters with 45 per cent approval.

Green Leader Jane Sterk placed second with 32 per cent, Liberal Leader Christy Clark was third with 30 per cent approval, and Conservative Leader John Cummins was in fourth place with 20 per cent approval.

NDP has 'comfortable' lead

Pollster Mario Canseco says support for Dix and the NDP has not fluctuated since the start of the election campaign last week.

"The NDP keeps comfortable leads in Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and maintains a good retention rate from the last election," said Canseco.

"Across the province, 59 per cent of respondents believe it is time for a change in British Columbia and would like to see a different provincial party elected into power, while 25 per cent would rather have the B.C. Liberals re-elected."

The Liberals were strongest in the southern Interior, where they had 35 per cent support, compared with 42 per cent for the NDP. But Canseco said the gap between the parties remains formidable for Clark.

"The 14-point gap among decided voters remains significant, particularly with less than three weeks of campaigning left," said Conseco.

Both the Conservatives and the Greens continued to struggle to pick up support, even in regions where they are thought to be strong, said Canseco.

"Support for the B.C. Conservatives in the southern Interior has not improved. The numbers for leader John Cummins are low, particularly on approval," he said.

"The B.C. Greens are still connecting well with young voters, but have dropped slightly in Vancouver Island. Jane Sterk’s approval rating is barely higher than the premier’s, but she continues to have a low level of name recognition."

British Columbians head to the polls to elect the next government May 14.

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