British Columbians open to pipeline but still no traction for the premier

Half of British Columbians could be convinced that building the Northern Gateway Pipeline is a good idea, as long as economic and environmental considerations are addressed, but Premier Christy Clark can't capitalize.

Public pollster Angus Reid released the results of its study on the Northern Gateway on Wednesday.

In its survey of 804 British Columbians, 35% completely oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway. One-in-four (24%) are moderately opposed but could be swayed to let it go ahead.

"The proportion of complete opponents to the Enbridge Northern Gateway outranks that of complete supporters by a 5-to-1 margin," said the pollster in its news release.

"However, half of British Columbians (51%) are currently taking a moderate position of support or opposition that could change depending on specific considerations."

The poll should help Premier Christy Clark who has been publicly feuding with her provincial counterparts and the federal government to extract a better economic and environmental deal if she is going to support the project, but so far her efforts have not shown up in the polls.

An election poll released this Tuesday shows that the premier's numbers are still bad, and the NDP would decimate the Liberals if an election were held today, winning 79 of the 85 seats in the legislative assembly. Forum Research Inc. released the results of its survey after polling 1,000 BC residents.

"It appears that B.C. voters are just fed up with the Liberals, who have been in power for more than a decade, and aren’t going to change their minds in the absence of extraordinary circumstances," writes Kelly McParland in the National Post.

"But it might also offer a lesson to premiers in general, that voters aren’t impressed by manufactured confrontations with one another."

Image by Vancouver 125, showing Premier Christy Clark meeting by Coast Salish procession members