Survey shows NDP tops in popular support, for now

Conservatives trail by 17 points, but that's only one poll

Based on the latest poll, B.C. is the NDP’s to lose in the Oct. 19 federal election.

Insights West, on Tuesday, released results of an online poll that showed 41 per cent of decided voters support the party led by Tom Mulcair.

The other two major parties, the Liberals and Conservatives, trail with support of 24 and 22 per cent, respectively.

The numbers aren’t a concern for the governing Conservatives trying to keep the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge riding.

“We’re going to be focusing on what we can do,” said Nicholas Smith, campaign manager for Mike Murray.

As a general rule, his party won’t be commenting on various polls that appear throughout the election.

While the NDP may be ahead in popular support, the Conservatives have dominated in this area in the past decade, with retiring MP Randy Kamp winning by a 10,000-voter margin over the NDP in the 2011 election.

At a nomination meeting last week, about 1,000 people showed up to choose Mike Murray, Kamp’s former executive assistant, as the Conservative candidate.

Smith said Murray’s campaign office opens within a week, followed by distribution of election signs

“We’ll let the poll on Oct. 19 speak for itself.”

Maple Ridge Coun. Craig Speirs was the NDP candidate in the 2011 election, but says this time round will be different.

“Right now, we have no incumbent. The shine is off [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper’s apple a bit.”

Speirs, who’s supporting NDP candidate Bob D’Eith, said there is more parity now between the three main parties because of the state of the economy.

The NDP don’t have a campaign office yet, but election signs are already out. Because it’s such a long campaign, the party has to watch its expenses.

Speirs said every riding in B.C. is a swing riding between the Conservatives and the NDP.

“We’ve taken this riding before and we’ll take it again. We really need a change here. We’ve got to stop sending empty suits to Ottawa.”

Green party candidate Peter Tam said he’s running his campaign on a shoestring and is focusing on getting non-voters and youth to the polls.

He said the Greens will support any other party in the House of Commons and if they elect a few MPs could hold the balance of power in a split house. He’s hoping people can see the strategy of electing Green MPs, who he says will be less partisan and able to work with any government.

He said he has “10 times” the number of volunteers than in the 2011 campaign, when he drew 2,629 votes.

He said the new campaign financing rules cost the Canadian taxpayer more than before because of tax credits for election expenses. He’ll also be using social media to get out the message.

“We’re very conservative with putting signs out.

“I’m ready to go and I’m hoping we can bring out some voters who don’t vote.”

For that reason, he’s doesn’t see the party as splitting the non-Conservative vote.

Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy opens his campaign office on Dewdney Trunk Road and 225th Street on Sept. 1.

“I’m confident of the approach we’re taking, especially here in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge – grass roots – talking to people.”

He believes he can win the riding.

“We will be showing people we’re a viable party to vote for. I still plan to win. We’re going to reach people and talk to them, getting them to believe again.”

 

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