When we were this far out from the 2013 BC election the NDP was 11 to 19 percentage points ahead of the BC Liberals. In general Christy Clark was an unpopular leader of an unpopular and tired government. This was a government lacking in direction and losing a lot of support on the right.
Fast forward four years into the future and the political landscape in BC is nothing like last time. There have been very few polls but Insights West did release one recently and it shows the NDP at 39% versus the Liberals at 34%. There is clearly no serious dislike of the BC Liberals in BC at this time. The BC Liberals are not in the same sort of position that the federal Conservatives.
The BC Liberals do not look like the tired government that they were in 2011/12. They have some problems but few things that are bad enough to sink a government. There is no "quick wins" sort of stuff lately.
The NDP just had their convention, not that anyone outside of a small group of nerds noticed. This convention should have been the one where the NDP showed people what their core policies were. This is the convention where John Horgan should have given a barnstormer speech. This is when the core activists should have been all energized for the next election.
I do not think the BC NDP has really ever accepted they lost the 2013 election due to fundamental problems with the party. Adrian Dix was a bad choice as a leader, still having him in the caucus is bad for 2017 but if he runs again the BC Liberals will have a field day with it. The NDP is supposed to be the government in waiting but I have no idea what their policies are on most issues
Here is the list of the core issues the BC NDP is highlighting on their webpage:
Nothing on poverty, nothing on economic development, nothing on First Nations, nothing on lands and resources, nothing on the environment and I could go.
In 2013 the NDP ran in the election as if they had won and did not need to do anything and just sit on their lead. It did not work for Adrian Dix and it really did not work for Thomas Mulcair.
The redistribution of the electoral boundaries this time have lead to fewer changes than normally. There is a new seat in Surrey and a new one in Richmond. Based on the 2013 election the Liberals would have won the Richmond seat and would have marginally won the new Surrey seat. This really does not help the NDP much.
What is also not good for the NDP is that Green party support is clearly concentrated on Vancouver Island, especially southern Vancouver Island. The Insights West poll had the Greens at 25% on the Island and the NDP at 37%. In the latest federal election the Green party managed to get more votes than the NDP in the three Victoria area ridings. It is realistic for the BC Green party to win three or four seats in Greater Victoria in the 2017 election. The only thing that would offset this is that the Greens will likely bleed off enough BC Liberal support to allow the NDP to win Comox Valley and Parksville Qualicum.
What would benefit the NDP would be a strong BC Conservative party. In November 2011 the BC Conservatives were very much on the rise but through the inability of the leader John Cummins to work with others the party fell apart before the provincial election. Since the 2013 election the BC Conservatives have elected a new leader but the party is not nearly as active as it has been in the past. I do not see the BC Conservatives threatening to win any seats.
At this point I do not see the BC Liberals losing the next election unless there is something dramatic political mistake that happens on their part.