BC no longer sees Liberals as sound money managers: poll

By Tom Barrett
The Tyee.ca

A new poll suggests that British Columbians believe the NDP by a two-to-one margin over the Liberal government when it comes to the state of B.C.’s finances.

The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll comes as Premier Christy Clark prepares to go on TV to talk up her government’s economic performance in advance of the May 14 election. The half-hour infomercial, on the theme “Strong Economy. Secure Tomorrow,” runs on Global Television at 7 p.m. Sunday.

While the Liberals’ ability to manage the economy has traditionally been seen by voters as one of the party’s strengths, the new poll suggests British Columbians no longer see the governing party as sound money managers.

In its recent budget, the Clark government promised a $197-million surplus. However, the Opposition New Democrats insist the province is heading for a $790-million deficit. When respondents were asked in the online poll which view they found more credible, 24 per cent said they favoured the Liberals.

Fifty per cent said they favoured the NDP. A further 26 per cent said they were unsure.

A remarkable 29 per cent of those who said they voted Liberal in the 2009 election said they found the NDP more credible on this question.

The poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday among 807 British Columbians. Angus Reid states a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20, for this sample. While online polls have been very successful at predicting recent elections, there is a methodological controversy surrounding the citing of margins of error for online polls.

Some experts hold that it is inappropriate to quote a margin of error for an online poll because participants in such polls are drawn from volunteer panels, rather than chosen at random from the general population. For more on this issue, see this story.

Find Tyee election reporting team member and contributing editor Tom Barrett’s previous Tyee articles here. Find him on Twitter or email him here.

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