Saturday, December 5, 2009

New British Columbia Provincial Poll

As part of the Innovative Research poll I posted about on Friday, respondents were asked for their provincial voting intentions.This shows a very close race, but is very different from the Mustel Group and Angus-Reid polls taken at a similar time. Innovative Research puts the BC NDP at about 15 points lower than those two polls, the BC Liberal result is also lower. The big beneficiaries in this poll would be the BC Conservatives, at more than 10 points than the other polls.

Not sure what this divergence means. Perhaps the voting public in British Columbia is very volatile, or perhaps this is just an anomalous result. The federal numbers looked fine.


  1. Éric,

    There is no Progressive Conservative Party in British Columbia. This is the BC Conservative Party, many of whose members come from the former Reform Party ranks. Recently it has taken a very strong anti-HST stance.

  2. This is excellent news for the Conservatives.

  3. TPG,

    Thanks for the correction.

  4. Eric, are you going to post about that Angus Reid Ontario provincial poll?

  5. Yes, next week. I'll also have a projection update and a November summary next week.

  6. I notice that Ipsos has a poll out about the HST in Ontario and BC but the news story says nothing about provincial vote numbers in either province. I wonder if its in the tables that you can access on their website if you're a subscriber?

  7. Just checked, nothing more than HST-related questions.

  8. I think the challenge for the BC Conservative party is to run a full slate next election.

    They ran in about 24 of 85 ridings, got about 2% of the overall vote but scored some impressive results in a couple ridings:

    In Boundary-Similkameen they got 20% of the vote, versus 9% for the Greens, 33% NDP, 37% Liberal.

    In Chilliwack they got 15% of the vote, versus 8% for the Greens, 32% NDP, 45% Liberal.

    They're up in the 10's in several Kelowna ridings, the north, and the Kootenay regions are also areas of strength/potential growth.

    Basically everywhere but the island and the lower mainland.

    If their support really has gone from 2% to 18% and they elect a serious leader next year they may be able to win 2 or 3 seats in the next election.

  9. The provincial BC Reform Party was also polling as high as the mid-20's in the mid/late 1990's. But that did not get them anywhere.

    The BC Conservative Party is one in name only with very few members and alot of in-fighting over the past few years. They are also very right wing in their views.

    They also don't receive much, if any, media exposure in BC and don't even have a leader for now.

    Again, any future uptick in the BC Conservative Party vote would likely be "very soft" vote parking based upon current negative leadership scores for both the provincial Liberals and NDP.

    They ran 24 candidates during the 2005 election but the most interesting phenomena arising out of that was that they split the opposition vote in those ridings.

    In almost all of these 24 ridings, the Conservatives took at least 2 former NDP votes for every former Liberal vote.

    Kootenay East is but one example (with 2005 vote in brackets):

    Liberal: 51.2% (48%)
    NDP: 35.5% (43.7%)
    Conservative: 10% (none)

  10. Anon,

    "They also don't receive much, if any, media exposure in BC and don't even have a leader for now."

    They got some play actually in local newspapers during the last election, both on the ugly court fight and some positive stories about them being the true right wing option in BC.

    But consider what you're saying, they only ran 24 candidates but got a good chunk of the vote in several ridings and that was basically at a time when they didn't have a legitimate leader.

    Now they are completely leaderless and are soaring in the polls.

    Could you imagine if they ran a full slate and got a serious leader in time for the next election ?

    I could easily see them making a breakthrough and winning 2 or three 3 seats.

    The funny thing is they may be stealing NDP votes, which are probably just anti-government votes, but they'll end up taking Liberal seats in the end.

  11. Anon,

    What happens in Alberta could have an effect here too.

    If the media storyline turns into Gordo getting Wildrose'd then it could be a big boost to the BC Cons.

  12. Eh, considering that this poll was asked at the same time as their federal voting intentions, does anyone else wonder if this is the result of crossover more than authentic support for the party?

    I mean, considering that the BC Conservatives are hardly ever a force in anything, and that there has still been continual non-coverage of the party as compared to the BC Libs or NDP, I just don't see this being really concrete. The BC Cons aren't the Wildrose Alliance by any means. It seems more like people got what was being asked mixed up, which can happen very easily, especially if they were asked for two different, yet similar, answers.

  13. Doesn't Leger always ask for both federal and provincial voting preferences in each of their Quebec polls?

  14. Anonymous said:
    "Doesn't Leger always ask for both federal and provincial voting preferences in each of their Quebec polls?"

    They very well might, but the difference is that there is no "Quebec Conservative Party" on the provincial level. The ADQ don't count because they're the ADQ, which is a significant difference outside of ideological grounds.

    Look over at BC parties, and there is four main parties with names exactly like their federal counterparts, even if not all ideologies match up exactly. I can see where the confusion exists.

  15. Volkov,

    Honestly i'm pretty sure everybody knows the difference by now.

    Anybody that stupid would probably answer "don't know"...

    Far more likely is that right wing voters hate the NDP but are annoyed at the BC Libs so they are taking a good look at a new right wing option.

  16. I don't know Jesse, there isn't much there to look at, you know? This doesn't ring me as a mass movement, and the fact that it was taken at the exact same time with the exact same people as a federal poll, I have to wonder...

    But, you may very well be right. I would like to see another BC provincial poll before I put all my eggs in one basket, though.

  17. Volkov,

    Definetly, the more polls the better.

    Though I must say I was pretty impressed to see a BC Conservative party member being interviewed on national television by Craig Oliver, in an all party panel discussing the HST.

    So they are getting noticed and they are getting some press time. I wouldn't write them off just yet - then again, if they elect a crackpot leader next year i'd go back to ignoring them.

  18. Jesse,

    Do you know the current field of possible candidates for the leadership? I can't seem to find anything.

    And I can see them inviting Conservative candidates these days. They seem to be more relevant than the Greens, the "other" party in BC politics.

  19. So hold the phone. This came from the same poll as the federal results?

    So someone on the phone said "Federally, are you voting for the Liberals, the Tories, the NDP, or the Greens?"
    and people went "The Tories".
    Then they said "And provincially, are you voting for the Liberals, the Tories, the NDP, or the Greens"

    I think I see where this inflated number comes from.

  20. Volkov,

    It looks like the leadership race was only scheduled a little over a month ago.

    So its possible nobody has announced yet, given how early it is. Looking at the timeline I doubt anyone would start campaigning until after Christmas.

    As for the Greens - i'm completely torn. I find their continued existence annoying but I don't know if:

    A) They waste the hardcore environmentalist vote so that it has no effect on our democracy (Good thing)

    B) Their leaders and candidates have a media platform to spout their anti-human nonsense (Bad thing)

    Anywyas, after the carbon tax and the HST I think people are really in the mood for a right wing, low tax alternative in BC.

  21. BC is very volatile provincially, so I'm not surprised to see big swings from week to week.
    I live here, but I'd never want to run a business here because I'd have no idea what the government was going to do or even what government I was likely to have.

  22. Ira,

    I know what you mean. People complain about "do nothing" governments. I'd welcome one.

    Activist town councils, banning this and that, pilot programs, water meters, pet ownership restrictions, fire bans.

    Then the province with the carbon tax, tuitions going up and down, this HST thing.

    I'd honestly like it if there was an entire year where no government sat, where the previous years budget was just carried over, and we had some certainty as to how things were going to be for once.

  23. Well, that'll please everyone.

    Except those who didn't like what the previous government did.

    Oh, and those who want things to change.

  24. Jesse: Alberta actually did that for a while. When Ralph was cutting everything to save money, he reduced the sitting of the Legislature to something like 3 weeks/year because operating Parliament was too expensive. He didn't really have an opposition anyway, so it's not like it made any political difference.

  25. Ira,

    Some American states have part time legislatures. They only sit for half the year and get paid about half as much.

    The idea is they keep their regular jobs, stay regular people, don't live in the capital bubble.

    There's even term limits in some places so nobody is a proffesional politician.

    Its an amazing thought I know! Imagine the world not falling apart if our betters weren't sitting around 24/7 planning ways to put a $1 fee on plastic bags!

  26. People seem to forget that the BC Liberals are Liberal in name only and are a conservative party.

    I do hope the conservative party in BC takes votes from Campbell then the NDP will get in again.


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