Thursday, August 12, 2010

BC NDP still dominates, but Liberals show life

Last Friday, Angus-Reid released a new poll on the provincial political situation in British Columbia. While the gap between the opposition BC New Democrats and the governing BC Liberals remains an insurmountable 21 points, it is decreasing.Compared to Angus-Reid's last poll, taken between July 6 and 8, the BC NDP is up two points, leading with 48%. The BC Liberals are up four points, however, and stand at 27%. That is still very, very low for them.

The BC Greens are in third with 13% (down one) while the BC Conservatives are down two points to 6%.

The NDP's gain came mostly in Vancouver, where they are up seven points to 48%. They also gained four points in the North (40%) but lost one in the BC Interior (42%) and ten on Vancouver Island (57%).

The source of the Liberal gain was everywhere but the Vancouver region. They gained six points in the North (32%), seven points on Vancouver Island (16%), and 12 points in the Interior (33%). Nevertheless, they are still behind the NDP in every part of the province.

The Greens had a six point gain in the North, where they have 19%. That is their best region. The best region for the Conservatives is on Vancouver Island, where they are up four points to 9%.

The BC New Democrats comfortably lead in all demographics but one: the BC Liberals have a narrow lead among those who earn more than $100,000 per year. Not exactly something you want to trumpet from the rooftops.

Interestingly, Angus-Reid conducted the same poll twice again but put former Finance Minister Carole Taylor or Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts at the helm of the BC Liberals. It didn't change much, however. With Taylor leading the Liberals the gap is reduced to 42% to 34%, while with Watts it is 44% to 34%. Any way you slice it, it means an NDP government.

Speaking of which, this poll would give the BC New Democrats 70 seats. The BC Liberals would take the remaining 15, two more than they took in Angus-Reid's last poll.

Of course, with numbers like these the changes could very well be nothing but statistical noise. But the small increase in support the Liberals get with either Taylor or Watts as leader indicates that the party has more work to do than merely replacing Premier Gordon Campbell, who seems to be costing the Liberals only seven points.


  1. Maybe it's just my monitor, but the orangish red and the reddish orange look identical to me. Would it be at all possible for you to change the saturation or brightness of either?

  2. They are quite different to me. I will try to differentiate them even more next time.

  3. The best poll result I've seen out of BC recently was that 67% of voters in Liberal-held ridings support recalling their MLAs.

    This government, despire having a strong majority, could fall before the next scheduled election.

  4. I dunno Ira.

    Anger feels like its decreasing somewhat. Its hard to maintain mass outrage for long periods of time.

    And its very, very difficult to recall somebody. Especially if they're doing a province wide recall they won't be able to target their volunteers into specific ridings.

    Plus the standard to recall somebody is high.

    I think when everything is said and done there will be 4 or 5 recalls.

  5. I think if the recall proponents targetted and took 6-7 ridings, they could cause the government to fall. A province-wide move wouldn't be necessary.

  6. Interesting that the 21% spread is reduced to an 8% spread with Campbell and his huge negative liability removed. And that's in the context of a currently damaged Liberal brand with the HST.

    OTOH, what is little known by the electorate, is that the NDP will not rescind the HST if elected.

    While Campbell's approval rating is in the dumpster, Carole James also only has a 28% approval rating and a negative 6 momentum score. Alot of soft vote parking going on right now.

  7. The purpose of the Recall legislation was to provide voters in a constituency the opportunity to recall their MLA in the event of malfeasance, fraud, other criminal conduct, etc.

    The legislation, drafted by the then NDP government, was doomed to fail otherwise.

    The highest profile recall case was against Delta South MLA Val Roddick and that was due to massive public outcry in Delta South over the closure/downgrading of Delta Hospital.

    Even then, they only reached 84% of validated signatures - 25% of the signatures were invalidated.

    The initiative process provides for a 90-day window and requires 10% of a constituency's signatures to be validated, which was done.

    The recall process only provides for a 60-day window and requires a much larger 40% threshold or validated signatures.

    Using Delta South as a baseline, whereby only 75% of the signatures were deemed valid, each recall must obtain at least 55% signatures in a constituency to provide for that margin of error.

    And during the recent initiative campaign, not one of the 85 ridings achieved a 55% sign-up over the longer 90-day period.

    Definitely an uphill battle.

  8. I think any recall initiative is bound to fail, as is this government when the time is up. Populist anger isn't as strong as people think it is in BC. It's there, but its not going to cost the job of any MLA except through voluntary resignation. I guarantee this prediction.


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