Either way you slice it, a new poll shows the Liberals and Tony Harris will take the Nanaimo by-election by more than 5 points.

The Mainstreet Poll, done last Thursday and Friday shows Tony Harris of the Liberals is leading in Nanaimo with almost 44 per cent of the vote, while the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson is at 35 per cent.

Quito Maggi, of Mainstreet Research, says Harris’ lead may be a surprise to some.

“The popularity of his father in riding was underestimated. Both on party brand and on candidate name we are seeing pretty substantial leads, eight and a half points on candidate and 13 point lead on party brand. Both of those are pointing to giving the edge to the BC Liberals in this by-election.”

Maggi says the BC Green’s Michelle Ney, with just over 12 per cent of the vote is racking up votes from the younger population and that’s peeling them away from Malcolmson.

“If you look at the 18 to 34 numbers especially, that’s where they are taking the support from the NDP, that’s where I think the BC Greens are having the biggest impact on the BC NDP. Even if those numbers are not that accurate, it’s, at best, a split between the Greens and the NDP and it’s going to have a huge impact.”

Justin Greenwood of the BC Conservatives has 2 point 5 per cent of the vote.

Also in the running is Robin Mark Richardson of the Vancouver Island Party and Libertarian Bill Walker.

The by-election will be held on Wednesday.