The imposition of the Harmonized Sales Tax by Premier Gordon Campbell has led the BC Liberal Party to the political Eve of Destruction a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll shows.
The BC Liberals have dropped another 3% to just 23% in the poll, taken after the HST was implemented on July 1, while the BC NDP is at 46%, the Green Party at 14% and the BC Conservative Party at 8%.
The most disturbing news for the HST-backing BC Liberal MLAs? That 67% of their voters would sign a Recall campaign petition to remove them from office while only 16% of BC Liberal riding voters would definitely not. Recall can begin in mid-November.
The HST is clearly killing the Campbell government - 76% oppose the tax, 75% would vote against it in a referendum and 73% say they will be either severely or moderately impacted by the HST personally. Only 4% expect no impact.
70% of the 801 respondents to the poll also say they will eat out in restaurants less because of the HST, 62% will cut back on sporting events and concerts, 60% will reduce going to the movies and 55% will buy fewer newspapers and magazines.
For Campbell himself, the news is even more grim. 72% of respondents have a worse opinion of the premier after the last three months - just 1% have a better view.
NDP leader Carole James isn't immune from criticism despite her party's 46% standing however, with 18% of respondents saying their opinion of her has worsened versus 10% who say it has improved.
Green Party leader Jane Sterk has also dropped 3% in respondents' opinions.
The political ramifications of the HST on BC politics are clearly significant and with no end in sight.
UPDATE: The fallout from the poll continues.
Angus Reid Public Opinion VP Mario Canseco says the BC Liberal fall since the May 2009 provincial election is stunning.
"This shows they've lost half of the voters that they had in the last election, which is a monumental decline," told CTV BC.
And Global TV's Victoria Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey - writing in the Surrey Now - says that former BC Liberal Finance Minister Carole Taylor is warming up in the wings to take over from the hapless Campbell.
"Of all the potential heirs to Gordon Campbell's leadership, only Taylor can separate herself from the current government, particularly over the issue of the HST," Baldrey writes