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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: BC lib /ndp tied with provincial election this spring Reply with quote

( a new mainstreet poll doesn't have much clarity for where BC is headed , both the liberals and ndp are tied at 37% with an election looming )


New poll shows B.C. Liberals and NDP deadlocked at 37 per cent


Cheryl Chan
More from Cheryl Chan

Published on: February 21, 2017 | Last Updated: February 21, 2017 7:02 AM PST


Just months before Opposition Leader John Horgan and Premier Christy Clark clash on the campaign trail, a Mainstreet/Postmedia poll shows Horgan's NDP and Clark's Liberals tied with 37 per cent support among decided voters.


A new poll has the B.C. Liberals and the NDP in a dead heat, with one in three British Columbians still undecided, less than three months before the May provincial election.

The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll found that among decided and leaning voters, the Liberals and New Democrats are tied at 37 per cent, the B.C. Greens at 17 per cent, and the leaderless B.C. Conservatives at 10 per cent. (The numbers don’t add to 100 due to rounding.)

A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has found that about two-thirds of Liberals and NDP supporters say they are strongly committed to their party. The Greens have the least committed voters of any of the parties.

A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has found that about two-thirds of Liberals and NDP supporters say they are strongly committed to their party. The Greens have the least committed voters of any of the parties. Mainstreet / Postmedia / PNG

“It’s a very close race,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research, with a number of factors, including a high percentage of undecided voters, contributing to the uncertainty. “B.C. is a very different electorate than the rest of Canada. It’s still very unpredictable.”

The survey appears to indicate voters are largely satisfied with the status quo — something that’s not particularly encouraging for the NDP, said Maggi, noting that going into an election with an incumbent government going after its fifth term, opposition support should be at its highest.

“(Having) These numbers at this stage of the game doesn’t point to a change type of election,” he said. “It doesn’t mean the campaign won’t reveal this sentiment in the population, but right now it doesn’t feel like a ‘change’ election.”

At this time before the 2013 elections, polls had the NDP up by a commanding lead over the Liberals, even though the Liberals went on to pull off an upset victory.

According to the survey results, about two thirds of Liberal and NDP voters say they are locked into their vote and won’t change their minds.

The overall number of undecided voters in B.C., at 31 per cent, is startling, said Maggi. “It’s higher than what it was back in September,” he said. “It’s like the closer we get, the more uncertain it is.”

The Liberal government’s budget announcement Tuesday and the NDP’s yet-to-be-unveiled election platform, which leader John Horgan has said will including raising minimum wage and a $10 a day child care program, are expected to sway undecided voters during the spring campaign.

The B.C. Greens enjoy a level of support about 10 per cent higher than what they received in 2013. But it also shows the party having the least committed voters. Only 36 per cent of Green voters say they are locked in with their vote; 48 per cent said they might still change their minds.

This figure could bode well for the NDP, said Maggi. Among Green voters who are most likely to change their minds, 51 per cent said they’d vote for the NDP as their second choice while only 11 per cent said they’d swing Liberal.

There could also be ridings up for grabs if the Conservatives only field a partial slate. During the last election, it only ran candidates in 53 ridings out of 85. Among Conservative voters who say they might switch their votes, 37 per cent said the NDP is their backup party while only 30 per cent said the Liberals are their second choice.

The poll surveyed a random sample of 2,188 eligible voters in British Columbians on Feb. 18 and 19, with a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

chchan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/cherylchan

http://vancouversun.com/news/p.....deadlocked
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.C. Liberals make re-election pitch with fifth straight balanced budget


Gary Mason

The Globe and Mail


Published Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 6:13PM EST




Premier Christy Clark had hoped to head into this spring’s election running on a new provincial budget infused with billions from a thriving liquefied natural gas industry. She will have to settle for something far less.

On Tuesday, Ms. Clark’s Liberal government tabled its final fiscal plan before this May’s provincial showdown and, as expected, it had a bit of something for everyone: corporate and personal tax and fee cuts, health and educating funding hikes, and a range of other spending increases that allows the government to ingratiate itself to an array of constituents.

Make no mistake: this is a document most provincial governments would still be thrilled on which to campaign. For starters, it marks the fifth consecutive balanced budget the Liberals will have submitted, a stretch of first-rate fiscal stewardship unparalleled in the country. The province’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 16.1 per cent – which compares to 40.3 per cent for Ontario and 48 per cent for Quebec. It is the only province in the country with a Triple A credit rating.


As Finance Minister Mike de Jong noted, this is not just about holding bragging rights. The difference in that credit rating and those debt figures compared to those of a province like Ontario amounts to a savings of about $2-billion a year in interest costs. That is a lot of program spending.

The government deserves plaudits, as well, for continuing to diversify not just its economy but its trade markets, too. For instance, only 53.9 per cent of B.C.’s trade is now with the U.S., compared to 86.3 per cent for Alberta and 80.9 per cent for Ontario. Those percentages take on a more ominous hue when you consider the protectionist trade winds currently emanating from south of the border. Meantime, B.C. created the most jobs in Canada last year as well.

All of this is important. The B.C. Liberals are a coalition of conservative and liberal-minded voters. To keep the conservative wing happy, the Clark government has had to demonstrate it knows how to run an economy, or at least, knows how not to ruin one. It has taken some heat along the way for some of the more ruthless spending decisions it has made in the name of balancing budgets. This has been an important aspect of maintaining the support of conservatives in the province. But the Premier knows she needs to appeal to voters beyond that group as well, especially ones in the mushy ideological middle.

She believes this budget does that. Others may not.

In the weeks leading up to it, Ms. Clark hinted that a significant tax cut was coming. It ended up being a somewhat underwhelming reduction to MSP premiums. It doesn’t take effect until next January, while the announced small business corporate tax cut occurs immediately – which perhaps speaks to the Liberals’ priorities. The government has significantly boosted spending in the ministries of education and children and family development, but in both cases it was virtually forced into it; in the instance of education by the courts and in child protection by relentless public criticism and damaging reports.

This is not a government that could in any way be described as warm or sensitive.

Of course, this has always been where the Opposition New Democrats have tried to set themselves apart from the Liberals – mostly to little avail. But they will try again.

The New Democrats intend on making a $10-a-day daycare strategy a centrepiece of its election platform, something the Liberals have no interest in touching. The Liberals will also face criticism from the Opposition for not raising welfare rates in this budget, maintaining a hardened position on this line item it has held for a decade. The NDP will almost certainly make other choices on the social welfare side of the ledger that the Liberals resisted in this budget.

At the end of the day, however, the Liberals insist that the upcoming election will be fought on the same fundamental voter concerns as the last one: which party is best for creating jobs and growing the economy, and which party can best be trusted to navigate the often tricky and perilous economic times in which we live.

Ms. Clark is betting this budget, and the four that preceded it, make the case that that party is hers

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e34105315/
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BC lib /ndp tied with provincial election this spring

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