Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NDP Still Lead in BC

I hope everyone had a wonderful Victoria Day/Journée nationale des patriotes long weekend!

On May 20, the Mustel Group released a new poll on the provincial voting intentions of British Columbians. It shows very little change.
Compared to Mustel's last poll in November 2009, the New Democrats have gained one point and now lead with 44%. The governing BC Liberals are 12 points behind with 32%, down three points.

The Greens are down two to 13% while the BC Conservatives are up five to 7%.

Not to compare apples to oranges, but the last BC poll (by Angus-Reid in April) had the NDP at 47%, the BC Liberals at 29%, the Greens at 14%, and the BC Conservatives at 5%. So, this Mustel poll seems to confirm the general situation in the province right now.

Premier Gordon Campbell's approval rating continues to slide to 28%, down from 34%. His disapproval rating has risen to 61% from 57%.

NDP leader Carole James, on the other hand, is showing modest improvement. Her approval/disapproval rating is now 40/35, compared to 39/37 in November.

As to the top issue in British Columbia, it should come as no surprise that it is taxes/HST, at 21%. This is the top issue for NDP supporters (22%) and Green supporters (23%), while it is the third issue (16%) for BC Liberal supporters.

The other top issues are the economy (18%), healthcare (13%), and education (9%). At 30%, the economy is the top issue for BC Liberal supporters, while education (15%) is the second issue for NDP supporters.

Things continue to look dire for Gordon Campbell, but he still has, oh, three years to turn things around.


  1. Ladies and Gentlemen, your next Premier of British Columbia, Bill Vander Zalm!

    Yes, I know the polls don't even hint at this, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if this occurred.

  2. There was also 10% who said that "the government" (as in "I hate this government") was the number one issue facing BC - that is never a good number for any incumbent party.

    Note also that Mustel usually tends to overestimate BC Liberal support. They had the BC Liberals with a double-digit lead all through the last campaign and their final poll had them 11 points ahead of the NDP. When the votes were counted that evaporated to a 3% lead.

  3. Ira,

    Isn't that a rather tall order to revive Social Credit? Wow, if he manages to do that, it will be one for the history books.

  4. Also makes me wonder whether Charest's alleged pending departure can breathe new life into the faltering Quebec Liberal Party.

    To quote Desmond Tutu: "You won't see me crying"...

  5. The last time that the BC NDP had a 12% spread in a Mustel poll (with these same numbers) was during July, 2004, 10-months before the May, 2005 provincial election.

    Campbell also had the same approval rating of 28% and a disapproval rating of 60%.

    Campbell has always had high negative ratings after 2001, which has clearly impacted upon his party's standing. I'm still of the belief that Campbell will take his proverbial "walk in the snow" next May, 2011, the 10th anniversary of his tenure as premier.

    DL - Mustel was bang-on in their final pre-election poll for May, 2009 in terms of the Liberal vote. The NDP was under-stated by 4% and the Greens were concurrently over-stated by 4%. Remember though, Mustel was in the field over 1 week prior to election day.

    Call it the "Nick Clegg" effect or whatever - the 4% of Green voters went back to the NDP during the last days of the campaign in order to oust Campbell.

    As a side note, just 2 1/2 years after the NDP was first elected, during March, 1994 the Liberals had taken the lead with a 30% spread over the NDP in that month's Mustel poll.

    Over the course of the next 6 years that Liberal spread had increased to 50% in Mustel polls - yet the NDP won the 1996 election.

  6. A final note on the Mustel poll - 29% of respondents stated that they have signed the anti-HST initiative. Mustel was in the field between May 6 - 16.

    29% of eligible voters would equate to about 939,600 signatures.

    Yet the FightHST campaign released their signature tally as at May 16, which totalled just under 500,000 signatures and 15% of eligible voters.

    This question reminds me of those "Did you vote in the last election" questions where a substantially higher percentage of interviewees/voters respond in the affirmative than actually did vote.

  7. Ira I wouldn't be at all surprised if you are right about the Zalm if his health holds up.

    Apparently the anti HST forces are close to getting the signatures they need to hold a non binding referendum on the reviled tax. If they succeed and win the referendum and Campbell fails to respond accordingly then the anti HST forces are prepared to use BC's recall laws to destroy the Liberal government.

    I think public support is high for two reasons:

    1. The anti HST campaign is being headed by a non political movement.

    2. The anti HST movement is actually working to repeal the tax.

    In Ontario there is no referendum or recall legislation and the anti HST drive is being spearheaded by the NDP who have not said they would repeal the tax in 2016 when they can legally under the McGuinty governments agreement with the Federal government. The BC version of the HST will not apply to to motor vehicle fuels. The Ontario version will. Imagine the anger in Ontario July 1 when gasoline prices jump eight to ten cents a litre due to the HST. The bridges will be crammed with people voting with their feet going to US to do a little shopping and to buy gas.


  8. HST Campaign grows in BC:


  9. Ira,
    Ladies and Gentlemen, your next Premier of British Columbia, Bill Vander Zalm!

    Yes because he has such a great track record, not to mention that he would actually have to live long enough to run in the 2013 election.

    I highly doubt it will happen.
    What may happen though is that the Liberals' numbers will improve(which is bound to happen) and under a new leader they will fight a good campaign against the NDP. The NDP will likely win though, people will just want change whether they're still mad about the HST or not.


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