Tuesday, April 9, 2013

B.C. New Democrats still in control

There have been few major changes in the projection and forecast for the British Columbia provincial election, but all that means is that the time remaining for the B.C. Liberals to turn things around has continued to shrink. The odds that the party would be able to comeback and beat the B.C. New Democrats in the popular vote are still less than 50-to-1.

The New Democrats continue to lead with a projected 48.7% of the vote, down 1.2 points from the projection of Mar. 25 (which used polling data running to Mar. 19). The Liberals are down 0.5 points to 29.9%, while the B.C. Conservatives remain steady at 10.4%. The B.C. Greens picked up 1.7 points and are now projected to have 9.2% support.

Due to Liberal gains in the B.C. Interior, the party has picked up one seat since Mar. 25 and is now projected to win 21. The New Democrats dropped one to 63, while one independent is projected to win. In terms of the ranges, the New Democrats would be expected to win between 51 and 73 seats if an election were held today, compared to between 9 and 33 seats for the Liberals and 0-4 for the independents.

Problematic for the Liberals is that the high forecast for May 14 has fallen from 54 to only 43 seats - the bare minimum for a majority government. As time runs out, even the absolute best case scenario is precarious for the party.

Regionally, things are relatively steady in Metro Vancouver and in the Interior/North. In and around the city, the NDP leads with 50.9% (-0.4 points) to 30.9% for the Liberals (-0.7) and 8.9% for the Conservatives (-0.5). The Greens made a 1.5-point gain to reach 6.9%.

In the Interior and North, the NDP is down 1.6 points to 41.3%, costing them one seat. The Liberals made their only regional gain here, picking up a bare 0.7 points to reach 32.7%. The Conservatives are down 0.6 points to 14.7% while the Greens are up 1.6 points to 9.7%.

There was more movement on Vancouver Island, where the Greens are up 2.4 points to 13.8%. The New Democrats are down 3.7 points to 51.7% and the Liberals 1.9 points to 23.2%. The Conservatives made the largest gain anywhere here, with a 3.1-point uptick to 10.5%.
The update was brought about by a new poll from Insights West, a polling firm based in British Columbia that was launched last year and whose president had previously been with Ipsos-Reid. This is their first foray into provincial politics, as far as I can tell, and the results are well within the norm of what other surveys have shown. Insights West also has very good disclosure, with its report containing both weighted and unweighted samples. They use their own panel for their polling.

The survey shows 45% for the NDP, 28% for the Liberals, 15% for the Greens, and 10% for the Conservatives. They are neither the highest nor lowest recent results for the NDP, Liberals, or Conservatives - but they are on the high-end for the Greens. We will have to see what the other firms say about the Greens as the campaign kicks off.

The Conservatives being at 10% is interesting, in part because it is within two points of where 10 of the last 11 polls have pegged the party's support to be. Why is that interesting? Because the UBC prediction market has consistently had the Conservatives at or just under 20% since mid-March. Whatever the market is recording, the polls have yet to see.

One in five respondents were undecided in this survey. The undecideds did lean slightly to the B.C. Liberals (25% to 20%), but not nearly enough to make much difference. The gender gap remains, with the NDP enjoying an 11-point advantage among men but a 24-point edge among women. They also lead by 18 points among voters aged 55 and over, a key demographic.

At the regional level, there are few surprises in this poll. The New Democrats are well ahead in both Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, while the race is closer in the Interior and North. The strong Green result on Vancouver Island has been noted before in other polls, though this is the highest result I have on record.

Steady as she goes, then. The campaign will need to shake things up radically in order to put the result in any doubt, but it will be interesting to see where the Green numbers go from here. For many British Columbians, voting for the Greens might become a very plausible option if the NDP looks like it is set to easily win - their vote might not be wasted or inadvertently send a Liberal to Victoria. Too much of that sentiment in NDP-Liberal races, though, and the New Democrats could be in trouble in a few individual ridings.

34 comments:

  1. Poor BC, I guess electorates don't learn from their mistakes...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because reelecting the BC Liberals is a much better option, amirite?

      Delete
    2. Yes, it is. Under the BC Liberals economic growth was above the national average and poverty declined. Under the NDP economic growth was below the national average and poverty increased.

      Delete
    3. The only thing the NDP accomplished during the lost decade of the '90's was turning a have province into a have not province.

      They are not in office yet but, it is clear they plan on repeating their mistakes by denying Northern Gateway.

      Delete
    4. bede

      The only thing any intelligent people can do is oppose the Northern Gateway. As a disaster waiting to happen it is unparalleled.

      Is that what you really want for BC?? An environmental disaster of mega proportions ??

      Delete
    5. Look it up Ross. The poverty rate in BC is the lowest its been since the late 1980s. Is there more to be done? Certainly. Relative to other provinces BC still hasn't done all that well, despite the progress that has been made since 2003. The reality is though poverty in BC increased from 1992 to 2001, and passed the national average for the first time in 1999. We're just now getting back down to the national average. The numbers for the minimum wage increase haven't kicked in yet though.

      Delete
    6. Peter,

      Don't you live in Upper Canada?

      Intelligent people know they and their neighbours need to work-not simply to pay taxes but to have a meaningful life! Intelligent people know healthcare is dependent on tax revenue, intelligent people know risk exists and that risk management is important in every natural resource extraction project, intelligent people know oil tanker spills are exceedingly rare, intelligent people know the difference between scaremongering and the facts and intelligent people know the NDP is a disaster waiting to happen and, intelligent people know that person is the singular form of people!

      Delete
    7. And yah, on Northern Gateway, the BC Liberals aren't exactly gung-ho on it either. Enbridge has done just about everything it could to generate opposition to its own pipeline.

      Delete
    8. Yes Ryan it has. Buy when you are a tar sands lobbyist ??

      No bede it's my country as much as yours and the last thing I want to see is a massive tar sands oil spill in the Kitimat area.

      Plus like it or lump currently the biggest tanker allowed in the Haida Gwai is 60k tons but Enbridge is talking supertankers that take miles just to stop !!

      Plus given Embridge's appalling leak record !!

      Delete
    9. If there's going to be more pipelines to the West Coast, it makes more sense to me to have them go to a place that already has an existing pipeline and whose waters are far less pristine - Vancouver. Spill response resources can be centralized in one location then, and the negative consequences of spill would be far less severe than one up in Haida Gwai. Kinder Morgan has also done a much better job in working collaboratively with local communities than Enbridge.

      We should still insist on much higher safety standards of course, and on an improved environmental record in the oil sands, but if those can be addressed, I'd have no problem with expanding the pipeline capacity that Vancouver already has.

      Delete
    10. Ryan you are absolutely correct. Plus we must never ignore the navigational difficulties of the Haida Gwai and the Kitimat area. The thought of running 500k ton supertankers up there turns anybody with knowledge into a frightened critic. Plus even Enbridge was talking tugs on each end of the super for the whole trip !!

      Build a pipeline to the Vancouver area sure. It is used to handling oil and can certainly up its game as needed.

      This safety issue on pipelines really does need to be addressed much more. Remember a few decades back when single hull supertankers where around and we got such as ythe Exxon Valdez?? The answer to that was to make the tankers double hulled. So why not double walled pipe ??

      Delete
    11. Peter,

      It is fantastic you want a clean environment but, other people want jobs. It is hypocritical of us as Canadians to restrict the use of a non-renewable resources that we use and whose demand we fuel. How can Canadians, who use and import oil and build machines that consume oil, most notably cars from Southern Ontario, dictate that China or India's need is not relevant. It is us who consume cheap Chinese and Indian products that increase the domestic demand in Asia for oil.

      A spill is not a certainty-risks arise when tanker traffic increases or pipelines are built and these concerns are properly addressed through examination of risk management and environmental plans. We do know cars produce GHGs. Where are the environmentalists demanding the closure of car plants in Southern Ontario until they produce electric cars?! Or demanding an end to the use of home heating fuel?! The last thing I want to see is smog hovering above Toronto creating poisonous air quality during the summer months.

      So I think it hypocritical for us as Canadians and consumers of oil to say we need to protect the pristine environment of the North Coast of BC but, who gives a damn about Toronto-let them drive cars and pollute without consequence resulting in mass emphysema. On the BC coast environmental damage may happen. In Southern Ontario it is a daily occurrence and is getting worse!

      This logic produces an irrational and prejudiced result: People in Ontario should work whereas people in BC should remain poor and unemployed. Sadly, it also reinforces the fallacy that the root cause is production not demand.

      Also any tankers even at a mere 60K tonnes will need a mile or two at least to stop.

      Ryan,

      I must disagree with your assertion that: "the negative consequences of spill would be far less severe than one up in Haida Gwai" (sic).

      Why would this be the case? Some 2.5 million people the Haida Gwaii-Kitimat area has 25,000. Tanker sailing from Vancouver would need to sail past the tip of Vancouver Island possibly impacting another few million people if Seattle and area are included. Both the South and North coasts are home to a plethora of aquatic and terrestrial life. Most importantly tankers docking in Vancouver significantly increase the risk of an accident or spill due to the high volume of container ships, small crafts etc...

      Delete
    12. Today's National Post

      ‘River of oil’: Tale of a ruptured pipeline that spilled thousands of barrels of Canadian crude in Arkansas

      Delete
    13. Yet, transportation still accounts for 26% of Arkansas energy consumption. Things could be worse- without oil Arkansas would increase their use of coal.

      Delete
  2. So there is no historical trend with this polling agency to compare party performance from its last report?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Never give up! Never surrender!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think there's some money to be made betting against the Conservatives on the UBC prediction market. Both in terms of seats and popular vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ryan, it's a highly illiquid market where a small number of bidders can pump up the price of small shares. I'm on there myself betting against Conservatives. But here is how the math works.

      Suppose you honestly (delusionally?) feel like the Conservatives can win 20% of the popular vote. You invest $100 in the market, buy up all the CON pop vote shares you can acquire for under 20 cents (let's say 100 of them at an average of 15 cents), and then place bids at around 20 cents. After all is said and done you have acquired 100 shares and placed 425 shares of bids on the market, and successfully pushed up the price to 20 cents on your own.

      Now suppose I want to bet against that. My only means to push the price down is to buy unit contracts at $1 each, and then sell the Conservative part. If you have placed 425 shares worth of bids in the market, I would have to invest $425 to bust your valuation down to a reasonable level, and then hold the rest of the shares until the election to profit.

      Of course you might just plop another $100 into the market and reverse the effect. It would appear that with poor liquidity, the prediction stock market is weighted towards the prices that deluded bidders are willing to pay.

      Delete
    2. Also I would argue with the "consistently" part of the 20%. Go and view the trading chart inside the market. You will see that every couple of days, the trading range is huge and spans prices all the way from 12 up to 21 cents. These are the days that people are attempting to arbitrage this mispricing, before getting bid back again by the bidders who believe it's worth 20 cents.

      Delete
    3. Darn. Here I had visions of making a couple hundred bucks. :(

      Delete
  5. Eric Innovative Research (I think that's the name) did a telephone survey late last week, I was called. So those numbers should be out soon. This might be an interesting poll because they asked what the second choice was and also how the callee felt about certain issues, etc.
    I find it interesting that the NDP numbers seem to be slipping a bit, but not to the benefit of the Liberals. The Greens seem to be getting that vote. Methinks that's because many voters believe this election is a slam dunk for the NDP, which could be a dangerous surmise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Innovative usually has contracts with political parties, so it might have been an internal poll. They were active during the Alberta campaign (and were capturing what eventually became The Swing), but for the PCs.

      Delete
    2. Well if they were polling for the Liberals, they're not going to be buoyed by my response.

      Delete
    3. A drop for the NDP is always good news for the BC Liberals, even if it's a swing to the Greens.

      Delete
  6. After checking the http://electionprediction.org/ site, it can be seen that the BC NDP are going to take most of Vancouver, all of Vancouver Island but one, most of the Lower Mainland and some of the Interior. If I had to guess the seat totals out of 85 total seats, the number I would put is NDP at around 52, Liberals at around 30, Greens at 1 and Independents at 2. It won't be the blowout that everyone is suggesting will happen. This may be a test for the NDP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John where do you think the Green seat would be? Just wondering.

      Delete
    2. John. I have also come ups with your exact same seat projection!

      Delete
    3. I just came up with the seat totals from a process of elimination from each region. I just have a feeling with the Greens at 15% in today's poll they will get at least one seat. I am just unsure where.

      Delete
  7. The UBC Election Prediction Market is not yet a good measure of support because the total money invested is still very small and with only $50 to $100 you can dramatically skew the market. There need to more traders for it to work better

    ReplyDelete
  8. Éric,

    As an outsider, I can't help but wonder whether April 1st came and went without mitigating to any significant degree the damage to the Liberals.

    I get the impression that the Liberal goose is already cooked -- even if the Premier's first name happened to be Christ instead of Christy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If anyone is interested, the number of votes cast in the Liberal leadership race just surpassed the NDP's first round total.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ryan,

    Thanks. Will be interesting if the trend continues.

    ReplyDelete

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.