The campaign for British Columbia’s May 14 general election officially began today, with the pro- labor New Democratic Party, the main opposition group that’s led by Adrian Dix, looking to seize power from Premier Christy Clark’s ruling Liberal Party.
The Liberals are seeking to extend their decade-long hold on power by emphasizing the party’s focus on fiscal management, including a proposed balanced budget for the year that began April 1. The NDP have questioned the Liberals’ ability to eliminate the provincial deficit, and have promised to boost the corporate income tax rate to 12 percent from 11 percent and reinstate a tax on financial institutions such as credit unions based in British Columbia.
The NDP are 17 percentage points ahead of the Liberals in approval ratings, according to an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll. Dix’s NDP have the support of 45 percent of British Columbians, while Clark’s Liberals have 28 percent, according to the online survey of 804 people taken April 12 and April 13 that had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
At the close of the legislative session, the Liberals had 45 seats in the 85-member law-making body; the NDP 36 and there were four independents.
The general election, the first for both Clark and Dix as party leaders, will also be contested by the Conservative Party of British Columbia and the Green Party. About 3.1 million voters have been registered according to Elections BC, the provincial elections agency.
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