Wednesday, December 22, 2010

UPDATED - BC Liberals pull ahead

The Mustel Group conducted a poll recently for Global Television, reported on as well by the Vancouver Sun. It shows that, after all the turmoil of the HST and the Campbell resignation, the BC Liberals have regained the lead in the province.When we last heard from the Mustel Group in mid-November, the BC New Democrats were in the lead. But after a gain of four points since that poll, the BC Liberals are in front with 41%. The BC New Democrats have dropped six points and now trail with 36%. But with the MOE of 4.4 points, it is potentially a very close race.

The BC Greens are up five points to 15%, while the BC Conservatives are down two points to 7% in this telephone poll.

Respondents were also asked about their preferences for the next leader of the BC Liberals. Christy Clark was the favourite among British Columbians as a whole, but also among BC Liberal supporters. Kevin Falcon was second.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: My original seat projection (64 BC Liberals, 20 BC New Democrats, one Independent) posted earlier today was incorrect. Thanks to commenter DL for pointing out that my projection needed to be double-checked. I neglected to change my baseline in my model to province-wide numbers. Instead, I was using the 2009 electoral results from one region as my baseline. My apologies for the error.

The result of this poll be almost a complete replica of the 2009 electoral result, with the BC Liberals winning 50 seats and the BC New Democrats taking 35. That contrasts greatly with the 52 NDP to 31 Liberal seats that were projected for Mustel's last poll by ThreeHundredEight.

The BC Liberals would win 26 seats in and around Vancouver, 15 in the Interior, five in the North, and four on Vancouver Island.

The BC New Democrats would elect 15 MLAs in and around Vancouver, 10 on Vancouver Island, seven in the Interior, and three in the North.

While polls had originally shown that Gordon Campbell's departure would not have changed the situation much, it appears that either people have changed their minds or the turmoil within the BC New Democrats turned enough people off to give the BC Liberals the advantage once again. But the governing party should beware: if the BC Greens go back to the 8% they got in the 2009 election, the BC New Democrats could be running neck-and-neck with the Liberals again.

We could very well see a provincial election after the leadership campaigns are completed in February and April, so a lot of eyes will remain glued to these numbers over the next few months.


  1. I find this to be a totally bizarre seat projection. In the may 2009 election, the BC Liberals beat the NDP by 4% in the province-wide popular vote and that gave them a 48 to 35 to 1 lead in seats. I don't see how a 4 point lead going to a 5 point lead can lead to a 13 seat edge turning into a 45 seat edge. For that to happen there would have to be 15 seats in BC that the NDP won last time by less than 1% and there aren't.

  2. DL,

    You're missing the most obvious factor: the Green vote. Going from 9% to 15% means they're bound to steal votes, and most of those votes will come from the NDP, allowing the Liberals to snag a few easy wins on a split vote.

  3. DL, I don't use that kind of uniform swing projection system.

  4. Campbell leaving appears to have given the Liberals a 15-point bump, and then the NDP in-fighting that led to James's resignation appears to have dropped them 10 points.

    Voila. 25-point swing; Liberals back in the lead.

    BC politics continues to be wholly unpredictable.

  5. I imagine we should expect at least two more shifts: when the leadership race reaches its peak and after the two leaders are chosen.

  6. Is anyone else waiting for Vander Zalm to start endorsing people? I am. I wholly expect it. xD

  7. Its actually not clear where any increase in Green votes would come from. IF (a big if) we had an election and the results were exactly the Mustel numbers - the Liberals vote would be down 5% and the NDP vote down 6% from the last election - suggesting that the Greens (who I think are really just a parking lot for people who are undecided) are drawing equally from both parties.

    Eric, whether you use a uniform or an UNuniform swing projection - any way you slice it - a .5% swing in the popular vote from one party cannot produce 15 seats changing hands.

  8. Darn it, you're right. I just noticed an error in my model - I was using one of the regional results as my baseline from an earlier poll rather than for this one. I neglected to change my baseline for province-wide numbers.

    Argh. I will fix and update ASAP.

  9. Update will have the BC Liberals at 50 seats and the NDP at 35. My apologies.

  10. Yeah, with a 5% spread, a 50 - 35 seat projection is pretty well bang on.

    I saw Evi Mustel interviewed about this Mustel poll on Global BC (BCTV) and she had these two additional interesting findings:

    1. Female voters are moving back to the Liberals after parking their vote with the NDP for a couple of reasons:

    - Campbell had turned off female voters;

    - Female voters were also turned off by the "Et Tu Brute" beer hall putsch against Carole James;

    2. When asked who would make the best new NDP leader, Carole James topped the Mustel poll above all other potential leadership contenders; (Bizarre)

    BTW, it has been reported that ARS was in the field again on December 20/21 and those poll results will apparently be released shortly.

  11. New BC ARS poll:

    Liberal - 38%
    NDP - 38%
    Green - 12%
    CPC - 7%

    Liberal Leadership:

    Christy Clark (poll topper)
    - 46% support from public
    - 66% support from Lib voters

    NDP Leadership:

    Mike Farnworth (poll topper)
    - 40% support from public
    - 49% support from NDP voters

  12. Liberals, NDP tied in AR poll:

  13. The ARS poll shows another 38-38 deadlock.


COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.