By Tom Barrett
Respondents to an Ipsos Reid poll taken immediately after Monday’s leaders debate named New Democrat Adrian Dix the winner, with Premier Christy Clark a close second.
Popular wisdom around who won and lost such debates tends to take a day or two to form. But if the Ipsos results match the consensus that emerges, they spell big trouble for Clark and the BC Liberals. With the Liberals trailing by 14 to 20 points in recent polls, Clark needed to score a breakthrough with voters.
Instead, she turned off roughly as many Ipsos respondents as she won over.
Thirty-five per cent said Dix won the debate. Clark was chosen by 30 per cent, Green party Leader Jane Sterk was chosen by 10 per cent and B.C. Conservative John Cummins was named by three per cent.
Twenty-two per cent said they were undecided.
Cummins was named by 36 per cent as the debate’s loser. Clark was named by 27 per cent as the loser — about the same as the number who said she was the winner. Dix was named the loser by 16 per cent and Sterk by 11 per cent. Ten per cent were undecided.
There was more bad news in the poll for Clark. More respondents said their impression of the premier worsened during the debate than said it improved. Thirty-four per cent said their impression worsened compared to 25 per cent who said their impression improved. Thirty-nine per cent said the debate did not affect their impression of Clark and two per cent were undecided.
Sterk got a boost in this category: 42 per cent said their impression of the Green leader improved, compared to 15 per cent who said it worsened.
Some 32 per cent said their impression of Dix improved compared to 28 per cent who said their impression worsened.
Cummins scored particularly poorly in this category with 19 per cent improved compared to 45 per cent who said their impression worsened.
The results of this online poll are based on the answers of 677 eligible voters who watched the debate. Ipsos states a credibility interval of 4.3 percentage points.