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Poll finds Dix seen as best choice for premier for first time

More British Columbians believe New Democratic Party Leader Adrian Dix would make the best premier than believe Premier Christy Clark would, according to an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll released today.

The poll found 26 percent thought Dix would make the best premier, compared to 22 percent who thought Clark would, eight percent who thought Conservative Leader John Cummins would and three percent who thought Green Party Leader Jane Sterk would.

It's the first time Dix has come ahead of Clark on the question.

Some 41 percent, however, said they were either "not sure" or said "none of these" would make the best premier.

The poll also gave Dix a plus six momentum score, while Clark's was negative 24. Over the past three months their opinion of Clark had worsened for 36 percent of the respondents. Cummins and Sterk also had negative momentum scores, at negative two and negative six respectively.

If the election, which is scheduled for May, 2013, were held today, 42 percent would support the NDP, 28 percent the Liberals, 19 percent the Conservatives and 10 percent the Greens.

"While the NDP is holding on to practically nine-in-ten of its voters in 2009 (88 percent), the BC Liberals can only count on the support of three-in-five of their supporters in the last provincial ballot (60 percent)," according to the pollsters interpretation of the results. "One-in-four BC Liberal voters in 2009 (27 percent) are now supporting the BC Conservatives and one-in-ten (10 percent) are choosing the NDP."

The poll found Clark and Dix virtually tied as the best person to deal with the economy and crime. Clark was ahead on federal-provincial relations, while Dix led on health care and education.

"The survey also shows that the NDP base appears satisfied with the decision to bring in a new leader," the report noted. "Dix’s predecessor Carole James was not able to be seen as a premier-in-waiting even after the controversy that led to Campbell’s resignation."

The poll was conducted as an online survey of 800 randomly selected adults in B.C. and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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