Conservatives trail BC NDP by 4 points: poll

A new poll released Friday shows the gap between B.C.’s incumbent government and its closest challenger is getting smaller by the day.

The poll by Liaison Strategies for the National Ethnic Press Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC) shows the BC NDP is leading the BC Conservatives by four points.

The poll found the NDP leading with 34 per cent, the Conservatives with 30 per cent, BC United with 12 per cent, and the Greens with eight per cent. Liaison Strategies found 14 per cent of those surveyed are “undecided.”

Just over 1,100 people in B.C. were polled over April 2 and 3.

“What looks like a tight race would likely result in an NDP majority government,” said David Valentin, principal at Liaison Strategies. “The regional races are not a blow out for the NDP but their lead in Metro Vancouver (41-36 over the Conservatives) may be enough for re-election.”

The data company found the NDP is leading the Greens by almost 21 points on Vancouver Island, however, “Outside of Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, ‘Remainder of BC’, it’s the Conservatives who are leading by 9 points over the NDP (39-30).”

“This is the prime area for Conservative pick-ups right now considering BC United performs best here but they are only at 19%,” Valentin said.

University of the Fraser Valley associate professor of political science Hamish Telford tells CityNews the new results are a little surprising.

“That’s the first poll I’ve seen with the NDP under 40 per cent,” he said Friday. “We have seen the Conservatives make strong gains in the last couple of polls with BC United falling behind this. This appears at the moment to be turning into a two-party race.”

Telford believes the BC Conservatives’ run up the poll also has to do with federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.

“I’m not sure that many B.C. conservatives could actually name the leader of the BC Conservative Party. And this has happened, of course, at the same time as BC United switched its name from the recognizable name of BC Liberals under Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark, to something completely new,” he explained.

Telford says Premier David Eby and his NDP are now probably regretting that they didn’t call an election earlier in the year, when polls looked like the party would sweep the province.

“I think they realize now that they’ve got their work cut out for them,” Telford said.

“They won seats in the last election which could be vulnerable — I’m thinking particularly of seats out here in the Fraser Valley, not traditional NDP country. And if BC Conservatives have galvanized the support of right-of-center voters, those seats could be in jeopardy for the NDP.”

However, Telford doesn’t think Eby will call an early election, saying, “Nobody wants an election in the summer.”

“There is no compelling reason to have an election now or next month or in June. And, of course, the premier himself is expecting a baby in June. So, I think all signs point to the fact that we will not have an early election.

“But the NDP are going to have to be revising their strategies, as I think they are doing, recognizing what’s going on in the polls with the other parties.”

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