Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Democrats solid in B.C.

The NDP wave has already swept across Quebec, and B.C. may be the next province to succumb to the Orange Crush.

The New Democrats have a long history in B.C., having formed the government on several occasions. But the federal NDP has not won B.C. since 1988, when the party took 37 per cent of the vote under Ed Broadbent. Though their lead over the Progressive Conservatives was only two points, it was enough to give the party 19 of the 32 seats in the province.

The NDP also won the popular vote in B.C. in 1962, 1965 and 1972. But the party's drought in the province now stands at 24 years. Will it end in 2015?

You can read the rest of the article on The Huffington Post Canada website here.

But let's here take a look at the latest Forum Research poll on the provincial voting intentions of British Columbians.
Forum Research was last in the field on Apr. 11, shortly before the two by-election victories by the New Democrats in B.C. Liberal ridings.

Since that poll, the B.C. New Democrats have picked up two points and now lead with 48% support, their highest result in any poll since October 2010.

The B.C. Liberals are unchanged at 23% while the B.C. Conservatives are down four points to 19%. The Greens are steady at 8% support.

The Conservatives did worse than expected in the two by-elections, so this drop in support is not too surprising. But it is significant that even the combined vote of the Liberals and Conservatives (42%) is below that of the New Democrats. In the Apr. 11 poll, the NDP and the Liberals/Conservatives each had 46% support apiece.

The NDP has held relatively steady in Vancouver-Lower Mainland with 47% (+2) and 42% (-1) in the Interior/North. They are up six points on Vancouver Island to 56%.

The Liberals are up two points in Vancouver-Lower Mainland to 25% and seven points in the Interior/North to 27%, but are down six points to 16% on Vancouver Island.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, are down four to 20% in Vancouver-Lower Mainland and nine in the Interior/North to 15%, but are unchanged at 19% on Vancouver Island.

One of the problems that the Conservatives had in the two by-elections was getting their vote out - compared to the well-oiled Liberal machine the Conservative rookies were outmatched. Organization isn't everything, though, with the NDP in Quebec being a prime example. But what the NDP in Quebec had that the Conservatives in BC do not is voter enthusiasm.

The Forum poll shows that 88% of NDP voters are very or somewhat enthusiastic about casting their ballot for the NDP in the next election, a stellar result. The Liberals, however, register only 70% while the Conservatives muster only 67%. If anything, that means the NDP could be expected to do even better than 48% if an election had been held on May 2.

The seat result is, with a 25-point lead, a landslide for the NDP. They win 73 seats out of the 85 in the legislature, with the B.C. Liberals forming a paltry opposition of seven seats. The Conservatives and two independents split the remaining five.

But despite the NDP sweep and horrible numbers for the Liberals, Christy Clark gets a higher approval rating among her voters than either Adrian Dix or John Cummins: 69% to 67% for Dix and 60% for Cummins. Though with so little support, one might expect the Liberals to be down to their diehards.

Province wide, Clark has the worst approval rating spread. She scores 25% approval to 62% disapproval, a net result of -37. Cummins scores a lower approval rating (21%), but is only a net -20 as his disapproval is at 41%. Dix has an approval rating of 39%, with 31% disapproving.

Take out the "Don't Knows", and Dix has an approval rating of 56% to 34% for Cummins and only 29% for Clark. That shows the real gap between Dix and the other two leaders.

The B.C. Liberals are considering a name change, but it doesn't seem likely that will save them. Only 16% of British Columbians think they should change their name and only 23% of Liberal supporters. Shocking, really, that a change of name isn't a cure-all.


  1. This is one of the few polls that has the NDP polling outside thr margin of error of their 2009 result.

    1. That may be true, but all of the BC polls were showing the NDP pushing the upper limits of the margin of error from the 2009 result. Since January the NDP has been consistently several points above their 2009 election result. When the polls are in agreement, the margin of error is less relevant.

      Of course as Alberta amply demonstrated, nothing is over 'till it's over, but things are certainly looking good for the NDP.

    2. Well, given that the accuracy of the Alberta polls I guess we can say that the NDP has between a 5 and 45 % lead lol.

    3. Christy won't be premier after the next election but if she wants to do the party a favour I think she should change her strategy.

      Go all Allison Redford. Unlike in Alberta the NDP support is too large to actually win.

      But its the difference between 7 Liberal seats and 40 seats.

      Attack John Cummins for his anti-gay, anti-choice positions. Attack the far right. Re-position herself in the middle.

      Tout her corporate tax increase. Be herself.

    4. Anonymous 16:42, I wouldn't be at all surprised to ultimately see that kind of "save the furniture" campaign. But to start trying to save the furniture a year out from the election might well be read as an admission of coming defeat and send even more supporters over the Conservatives.

    5. In the interior and north, those anti-gay, anti-abortion positions may not be such a liability, unlike in the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island. They certainly didn't hurt Wildrose in rural Alberta, unlike in the cities. We are starting to see a serious urban-rural split in all provinces outside of Quebec now...

    6. There is a long trend of growing urbanization in Canada. An urban-rural polarization is one that the rural areas will ultimately lose. Rural over-representation in the House and the various legislative assemblies will not last forever.

  2. The link the Huffington Post article isn't working.

  3. Le parti Libéral du Canada a perdu sa raison d’être.
    Le Parti Libéral du Canada est le parti des minoritaires. Parce que c’est normal pour tout être humain de faire parti d’une majorité, ils ont perdu leurs quatre bases électorales. Je m’explique.
    1.) Ils avaient le vote des Canadiens-Français du Québec. Depuis la révolution tranquille, ceux-ci se sentent majoritaires et sont devenus Québécois, ils votent donc plus à gauche maintenant (Bloc-NPD).

    2.) Les Francophones hors-Québec s’assimilent à la majorité anglaise, pour devenir Canadian. Ils votent donc NPD ou Conservative, dépendant s’ils sont de gauche ou de droite. (ex. St-Boniface au Manitoba et Chéticamp, N-É qui sont allés Conservateur. Bathurst au N-B et le nord de l’Ontario qui sont allés NDP).

    3.) Les immigrants aussi, qui après deux générations, s’assimilent aux Anglais et deviennent Canadian (NPD-Conservateur). Ils sont donc une clientèle d’électeurs éphémères, à renouveler constamment.

    4.) Et la dernière minorité, les Anglais du Québec. C’est tout ce qui reste (libéral), mais c’est très limité, avec quelques contés dans le West-Island.
    Comme vous voyez, ce n’est pas une question de chef, même si ceux-ci ne sont pas forts. Les deux derniers Dion-Ignatieff ont été choisis par défauts, parce que personne ne veut être chef d’une gang de loosers systémiques et chroniques.
    Le parti libéral a toujours été un regroupement de minoritaires et aujourd’hui ils récoltent ce qu’ils ont semé… leur clientèle historique est devenu adulte et s’est affranchie.
    Prochainement, il ne restera que deux nations souveraines le Québec et le Canada…. Le parti Libéral aura bientôt perdu toute sa raison d’être. Nous seront tous majoritaires et le parti libéral disparaîtra paisiblement. Ce sera la fin du beau rêve à Trudeau et on en parlera dans les livres de science politique comme un exemple à ne pas suivre.

  4. It almost seems as if there is a national shift left going on. The next set of Ontario polls should confirm or deny that ?

    1. Most polls show Ontario bucking that very trend, of course, but who knows. In BC, it's a perfect storm for the NDP, as the federal party's on a high while the provincial Liberals are exhausted and past their expiry date.

    2. Traditionally, it's BC that moves against the tide. Whichever direction the country is heading, BC goes the opposite.

      But it's also in BC's nature to be unpredictable, so I suppose even that trend couldn't continue.

      I don't see a left shift nationally, though. Alberta is moving right, and Quebec's right-wing option is strengthening.

    3. I'd say with the election of Alison Redford Alberta is moving more to the center comaprative to the whoke country, to us Albertans shes moved the PC's to the left with their main support coming from the urban centers and younger people now.

    4. I think what we are seeing is the larger urban/metropolitan areas shifting more towards the left, while rural areas and smaller cities (i.e. under 100,000 or so) even farther to the right.

      It is splitting even conservative parties now, since the rural areas think they are not conservative enough (look at the Alberta result) while urban/suburban members want a much more moderate view in them.

    5. Ira, Quebec isn't so easy to break down into left vs. right because of the confounding element of sovereignty. How much of the PLQ's support comes from people who are federalist but leftist? How much of the PQ's support comes from those who are sovereigntist and rightist? Suffice to say, I don't think there is any kind of argument to be made that the Quebec electorate is moving right, especially considering the strength the NDP has shown in recent polls there.

  5. The conservative's aren't rookies. Their party might not be fully funded like the liberals, but the organization is chock full of experienced ex-liberals.

    1. Really? I don't know of many BC Liberal operatives that have crossed over to the BC Conservatives. I do know that they have part of the old Reform Party and some Socreds' activists with them though.

  6. The Liberals should just call an election this year and get it over with. The NDP will win a majority either way. I doubt Adrian Dix will be another Tim Hudak or Danielle Smith.

    The upcoming election would be akin to the B.C. elections of 1991 and 2001 where the incumbent party was nearly wiped out.

    After the election the Liberals and Conservatives could discuss about co-operation, merger, name changes and whatnot.

  7. The Forum Research poll was taken May 2 showing the BC NDP with 48%.

    On that EXACT same day, Forum Research conducted an opinion poll with another 1,054 sample size on another BC question (pipeline).

    But buried therein was also a current provincial political party preference question showing the NDP at 42.5%

    So we have Forum Research showing the BC NDP at 48% AND 42.5% on the same day?! Never seen that before.

    That's one reason that the major media outlets in BC (at least most of them) never report a Forum Research poll as they don't have much of a track record in BC - they were far off the Vancouver municipal election in 2011, as an example.

    As for the federal NDP prospects in BC, after the August, 1972 provincial election, the federal NDP vote in BC later collapsed during the 1974 election to 2 seats.

    After the October, 1991 BC provincial election, the federal NDP again later collapsed to 2 seats in 1993 and remained there in 1997 and 2000 through the NDP provincial reign, which itself collapsed in 2001.

    The BC NDP has many conflicting interests and is the most leftist in Canada - with a leader from its left-wing. It is NOT your Manitoba or Saskatchewan NDP, which are essentially "orange" Liberal parties in terms of the economy, taxes, business, etc.

    1. Forum's site appears to be down so I can't check, but I imagine it is the same sample and the difference in voting intentions is due to the people who expressed an opinion on the pipeline not being the exact same as those who answered the voting intentions question.

  8. PS. Based upon history, if the BC NDP actually wins the May 2013 election, their federal counterparts in BC will likely suffer the same fate in BC during 2015 federally.

    The BC media is relentless when the BC NDP promises one thing before an election (or remains mute about springing its plans) and does different after same - it happened post '72, post '91, and post '96.

    Also witness what has happened to the BC Libs post '09.

    1. Name change? How about the BC ___ Party? That way they can just fill in Christy Clark's flavour of the week.

  9. I think the BC Liberals should change their name to the BC Liberal-Conservatives. That, or they should merge with the BC tories.


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