(Adds leaders' last day of campaigning, PIX)
By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER May 8 British Columbia's ruling
Liberal Party is poised to win a general election in the Western
Canadian province on Tuesday thanks to late gains, a polling
group said on the eve of the vote, as its final survey showed
the party tied with the opposition New Democrats.
The party, which is not linked to Canadian Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau's federal Liberal Party, has governed the
province for 16 years.
Just two weeks ago the right-of-center British Columbia
Liberals were trailing the left-leaning New Democratic Party
(NDP) by nearly 10 percentage points.
Monday's Mainstreet/Postmedia poll, which surveyed
respondents on May 5 and 6, showed 39 percent of decided and
leaning voters would back the Liberals, 40 percent the NDP, and
20 percent the B.C. Green Party.
"Our final poll finds the NDP and Liberals in a dead heat --
but despite the statistical tie in support, we're expecting a
Liberal majority government on Tuesday night," Quito Maggi,
President of Ottawa-based Mainstreet Research said in a
statement on Monday.
The polling group's survey showed more Liberal voters
strongly supported the party while more NDP supporters said they
might still change their minds.
That would replicate the outcome of the previous election in
2013, when polls had predicted the NDP would win by a wide
In a final day campaigning, British Columbia premier and
Liberal leader Christy Clark crisscrossed the south of the
province urging voters to "choose hope, not despair" as she
focused on her party's economic track record.
British Columbia led Canada's other provinces in economic
growth in 2015 and is forecast to have repeated this in 2016
while also producing five consecutive balanced budgets.
Meanwhile NDP leader John Horgan campaigned in the populous
Vancouver suburb of Surrey, repeating a platform promise to
introduce C$10-a-day childcare and pledging to build a second
hospital in the area.
Mainstreet is one of only a handful of groups doing polls in
this election, with several having stepped back from compiling
regular surveys after calling the 2013 result so wrong, which
some blamed on unpredictability linked to the province's low
The province's most widely read newspapers, the Vancouver
Sun and The Province, as well as the national Globe and Mail,
all endorsed the Liberals in weekend editorials.
"It looks as though the NDP are facing a disappointing
finish and will need to reassess what to do in the future,"
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; Editing by John Stonestreet and