Poll shows NDP has opened up nearly five percent lead over B.C. Liberals

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      Premier John Horgan appears to be flying high early in his term at the head of an NDP minority government.

      A poll by Ontario-based Mainstreet Research shows the B.C. NDP has the support of 38.5 percent of respondents.

      That's significantly above the 34 percent support for the B.C. Liberals and the 27.6 percent who back the B.C. Greens.

      In last year's election, it was practically a dead heat between the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. NDP, with just 1,566 votes separating the two parties.

      The new poll shows that the NDP has a nine-point lead among women, an 11-point lead among voters under 35, and a 15-point lead in Greater Vancouver.

      "Nonetheless, the NDP have continued weakness in the interior where they sit in third place," the polling company stated in a news release.

      The B.C. Liberals will choose a new leader in early February.

      In a separate survey, Mainstreet Research found that among decided voters, the leading candidate is former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts, who has the backing of 30 percent.

      She's followed by former attorney general Andrew Wilkinson at 21.3 percent and former transportation and infrastructure minister Todd Stone at nearly 20 percent.