The opinion polls don't always get it right. Even in developed western democracies, where you'd think polling technique would be pretty well refined, upsets still happen. At least that's the lesson from Tuesday's election in British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada.

Canada has a rather unusual (and changeable) multi-party system, but in British Columbia it turned out to be basically a two-horse race between the incumbent Liberals and their challengers to the Left, the New Democratic Party. Federally the Liberals are a centrist to centre-left party, but at the provincial level parties can be quite different; with their main opponents on their left, the British Columbia Liberals are more of a pro-business centre-right party, not unlike Australia's Liberal Party.