B.C. Liberals move up in the polls but still far behind NDP

Ten days into a provincial election campaign there's finally some good news for Christy Clark's B.C. Liberals.

A new Angus Reid poll, released on Friday, suggests that the governing party is gaining in popularity. In fact, since the beginning of the campaign, the Liberals have gained 3 percentage points, while the opposition NDP have remained stagnant.

Voting intention of decided voters:

- BC NDP 45 per cent (=),
- BC Liberals 31 per cent (+3),
- BC Conservatives 11 per cent (-1)
- BC Greens 10 per cent (-3)

It's not great news — the Liberals still have a long uphill battle — but at this point, I'm sure they'll take the positive numbers.

[ Related: B.C. Liberals launch ‘Spend-o-Meter’ to tally cost of NDP campaign promises ]

"The opposition party remains at 45 per cent, with the highest rated leader and the best performer when respondents are asked who should lead the government in Victoria. The NDP keeps comfortable leads in Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and maintains a good retention rate from the last election," notes the analysis to the survey report.

"The BC Liberals are showing signs of improvement, gaining three points in two weeks on the voting intention question. Two weeks ago, only 46 per cent of 2009 BC Liberal voters thought it was not time for a change. This number has increased by 10 points. Still, the 14-point gap among decided voters remains significant, particularly with less than three weeks of campaigning left."

The numbers might explain Christy Clark's aggressive attacks in the first leaders' debate which took place on CKNW Radio on Friday morning.

While there was no knock-out punch, Clark relentlessly hammered NDP leader Adrian Dix on a number of issues, putting forth the narrative that Dix keeps changing his mind, that he hasn't put forward a detailed platform and that it's the same old spendthrift NDP of the 1990s.

[ Related: B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix running a “we’ll see” campaign ]

Dix got in a few jabs about the Liberal's stewardship of the economy, but Clark shined in the one-on-one battles with several sharp-tongued attacks that hit their mark.

The Greens Jane Sterk also performed well earning a lot of praise in the Twittersphere.

The next and final leaders' debate will be on Global Television on Monday evening.

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