Friday, February 8, 2013

B.C. NDP gains in Vancouver

If anyone thought that the B.C. Liberals were inexorably on the rise, a poll by Justason Market Intelligence put a damper on that, as it put the B.C. New Democrats 22 points ahead of the governing party. Newer polls will tell us if that turns out to be an outlier result, but the forecast now gives the New Democrats a 96.4% chance of winning the popular vote on May 14, up from 93.4%.

The projection as of Feb. 1 gives the NDP 48.2% of the vote and 66 seats, up from 46.5% and 56 seats that had been projected with the poling data running up toJan. 21. That is a big gain in seats for the NDP, primarily in metropolitan Vancouver where the Liberals have dropped more than six points. Province-wide, the Liberals are projected to have 30% support and would win 18 seats, a drop of 2.9 percentage points. If an election were held today, the NDP would have a 100% chance of winning the most seats - the gap is simply too large for polling or modelling error to miss the call.

The B.C. Conservatives are up 0.9 points to 11.6%, while the Greens are up 0.3 points to 8.5%. Both parties are projected to win no seats, but their projected high does put them in a position to win one. The NDP and Liberal seat ranges still do not overlap, at 49-76 and 6-36, respectively.

The forecast for May is not good for the Liberals, as their forecasted high is only 39% support. That could give them as many as 56 seats, however, so a win is still not out of the question. But the time remaining for the Liberals is slipping away, as are their odds of prevailing.
I analyzed the Justason poll and a leader poll by Angus-Reid for The Huffington Post Canada, and I invite you to read that article.

Justason was last in the field between Sept. 24 and Oct. 1, and since then the NDP did not budge at 48% support. The Liberals were down two to 26%, the Conservatives up three to 12%, and the Greens were down two to 11%.

This is a reversal of fortunes for the Liberals, who were gaining (modestly) in every poll from other firms. We will have to wait and see whether Justason is capturing a downturn in Liberal support before the others, or is merely pegging them at the low end of the margin of error.

The poll had some odd regional results, as it gave the New Democrats a wide lead in Vancouver but a narrow one on Vancouver Island. Many polls have shown the opposite to be the case, and indeed this is the lowest and highest Liberal and NDP results I have on record in Vancouver since at least the end of 2011. The NDP number on Vancouver Island is the lowest in any poll since December 2011, though it should be pointed out that Ipsos-Reid had the Liberals at 34% support on Vancouver Island as recently as November.

With less than 100 days to go before the vote, the B.C. Liberals cannot afford to be taking a step backwards. And as the NDP vote looks rock solid, there are few prospects for further gains. If Christy Clark turns things around, it will be a remarkable comeback.

33 comments:

  1. Is the projected high win for the Greens in West Vancouver Sea-to-Sky? & I have no idea where the Conservative will win please let me know. Many thanks.

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    1. Yes, you have the Green one correct. The Conservative one is Boundary-Similkameen, primarily because of their strong result there in 2009. My understanding is that the party will not be making the same effort this time around, so it may be more of an anomaly.

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  2. Eric

    Sure looks like a "Lock" for the NDP to me ?

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  3. The Vancouver Island numbers are very curious as you point out. It has been a fortress of support for the BC NDP for many years since CJ took the helm. I am also surprised the that the Greens are polling higher in Vancouver than on the Island, given their recent strong showing in the Victoria by-election and the presence of E May.

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    1. True, but it should be noted that the regional samples are small. The difference of four points between the Greens' Vancouver and Island results could easily be explained away due to the MOE.

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  4. The Metro Vancouver numbers, representing about 1/2 the sample size, are certainly and instinctively odd:

    NDP: 55%
    Liberal: 20%

    In complete contrast to Mustel, which had the NDP and Liberals tied outside the City of Vancouver, with the City representing ~27% of the Metro population.

    BTW, Justason used to work for Mustel.

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  5. How could the NDP possibly lose this one? If they do it would be cringe-worthy for partisan NDPers throughout the country.

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  6. Charles Harrison08 February, 2013 21:25

    The FPTP system really shows in your projection.

    The Greens lead the Cons in seats, whereas the Cons lead the Greens in popular vote; also the Liberals and NDP are much closer in votes and seats.

    It's time to use a proportional representation system electing people from each region so we still have proper representation, but divided properly among parties!

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  7. Charles Harrison08 February, 2013 21:27

    The Cons are leading the Greens on The Island and the Libs and NDP are at their closest on The Island.

    What happened to the NDP and Greens?

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    1. Seeing as the entire province-wide sample was 600 people, the Vancouver Island sample was probably close to a quarter of that or 150 respondents. The margin of error with such a small group is huge.

      More than likely that's a one-off result; but that said, in a two-party environment like B.C., that's probably enough to put most if not all of the Island seats in the NDP's column.

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  8. The regional breakdowns for the Island and Metro Vancouver look very odd - they'd almost make more sense if they were flipped.

    Most polls have the NDP lead on the Island much more robust than in the GVRD. Be interesting to see if other polls corroborate these findings.

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  9. With any luck it is part of the process towards a mature political system where we have a pure 2 party system with one conservative party and one social-democratic party.

    Eventually the Liberals will divide themselves up between the NDP and the Tories as will the Greens.

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    1. How is that a good thing? Two party politics certainly isn't serving the Americans well. I think most voters want more choice than that.

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    2. If voters wanted just two parties, just two parties would get votes.

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    3. I second Eric's sentiment.

      Most "mature" systems have multiple parties. Even America is a two-party plus system if one includes independents, Labour, ralph Nader etc...

      Bull Moose

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    4. Let alone Bull the Tea Party and the Libertarians.

      Former being the biggest but a bit to the Left of Harper !!

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  10. Hey Eric,

    No comment about that Abacus poll for AMI?

    National.poll, shows national Grits stuck at 21%

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    1. I'll take a look at it this week. With the BC election only a few months away, this BC poll had a higher priority.

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    2. Forum poll shows CPC Libs statistical tie without Trudeau and with Trudeau a huge majority.

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    3. The Abacus poll says Trudeau is making no difference.

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    4. Abacus didn't poll on Trudeau. They asked who you'd vote for if the election was today. Rae's leader last time I checked.

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  11. For the life of me, I can never understand why the NDP des not campaign against the use of public funds for private schools in BC, especially when public money for public schools is in short supply. It is an unpopular policy overall and must play to the NDPs advantage since supporters of the policy are much more likely to be Liberal and Tory supporters.

    It is from the school of "make your enemy defend an unpopular policy that splits his her coalition but your coalition is united against. Sure their are a few crunchy granola private schools but they are probably Greenies.

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    1. because parents of kids in private schools pay taxes in BC too. it will open the door wide for all kind of lawsuuits

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    2. Right now every school (private or public) receives the same amount per student from government. That is where funding from government stops for private schools. Everything else (school buildings, teacher salaries, etc is paid by the private schools). So, in a way, private schools are easing the burden on public school system. What would happen if that funding stops are lots of private schools are closed? You get more kids in public system and same amount of public funds money available. Not the mention public relations nightmare. How would NDP answer the question: Should all students in BC be treated equally?

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    3. Public opinion in B C runs strongly against continuing to fund private schools.

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    4. I am not so sure Catholics and others would be willing to give up government funding.

      Anecdotally, it appears to me that private schools or charter schools have gained in popularity over the last number of years, certainly more of these schools exist then 10 or 20 years ago.

      Westside Walter

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    5. according to http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/Publications/2012EdFacts.pdf


      Between 2007–08 and 2011–12:

      The total number of public school students decreased by 13,892 students (-2.4%).

      Between 2007–08 and 2011–12, school-age student enrolment in independent schools increased by 4.3%,

      Number of students in 2011-2012:
      public 569,728
      Independent: 71,864

      Let's say you cut funding for independent schools and lots of them are forced to close. You get 70,000 new students in public system in next school year. Where are you going to get money for that?

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    6. Anon 20:36:

      Some of the money would come from the grant currently given to private schools.

      As you note public school enrollment has decreased so the extra capital costs of schools etc... would be somewhat met. Anything else would need to come through savings, reallocation of government moneys or tax increases.

      Westside Walter

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    7. "It is an unpopular policy overall and must play to the NDPs advantage since supporters of the policy are much more likely to be Liberal and Tory supporters."

      That's a rather simplistic way of looking at things IMHO. There's a HUGE enthusiasm gap on issues like this. If you agree with a party on 9/10 issues, but that 1 issue is the one issue you really care about, who are you voting for? Someone else.

      Pissing off 40% of voters a lot to get the 60% to like you only a little bit more doesn't win elections. Ask Ignatieff how well that works.

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    8. "...savings, reallocation of government moneys or tax increases."

      not very likely that NDP government can do anything except tax increases. And that will go really well with voters in BC.

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  12. It's ok. We have our first Family Day on Monday. That will turn everything around.

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  13. Eric, do you think there is any chance that the Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island numbers got transposed in the reporting of Justason's poll? The Metro Vancouver numbers look much more like the pattern one would expect on Vancouver Island, and vice-versa.

    Of course it probably is just an artifact of the small sample size.

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    1. No, I asked Justason that question.

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