New polls suggest BC election is suddenly a lot tighter

By Tom Barrett
TheTyee.ca

Some new polls suggest the B.C. election has suddenly become a lot tighter.

At the beginning of the week, Justason Market Intelligence released a poll indicating a 22-point lead for the NDP. At around the same time, an Abacus poll indicated a 10-point NDP lead.

Then, on Thursday, a poll from Forum Research suggested the New Democrats’ lead over the governing BC Liberals has fallen to four points.

Then a poll from Insights West suggested the NDP leads by eight points among decided voters.

A few hours later, an Angus Reid poll suggested a seven-point gap.

One more poll is expected from Ipsos this evening.

The Forum poll reports 39 per cent support for the NDP, 35 per cent for the Liberals, 12 per cent for the Green party, nine per cent for the BC Conservatives, and three per cent for others. (Those numbers don’t add up to 100, presumably because of rounding.)

The poll was sponsored by the National Post and based on a sample of 1,055 adult British Columbians. It was taken Tuesday, April 30, the day after the leaders TV debate. It was conducted by Interactive Voice Response and states a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Forum was off the mark in the Quebec and Alberta provincial elections, but they weren’t the only ones. During the 2011 Vancouver civic election, Forum released a much publicized poll that indicated Mayor Gregor Robertson held a six-point lead over NPA challenger Suzanne Anton. Robertson won by 13 points.

The Insights West poll gives the NDP 41 per cent among decided voters, the Liberals 33 per cent, the Green party 14 per cent and the Conservatives 11 per cent and others one per cent.

When the undecideds are included in the total, the Insights West numbers get much closer. The undecideds have dropped to 15 per cent from 20 per cent in the last Insights West poll, conducted in March. When the undecideds are factored in, the numbers become: NDP 33 per cent, Liberal 27 per cent, undecided 15 per cent, Greens 11 per cent, Conservative nine per cent and others one per cent. Five per cent said they will not vote.

The Insights West poll was conducted online from Monday, April 29 to Thursday, May 2 among 855 B.C. adults. The pollster states: “While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.” (See this story for more on this issue.)

The Angus Reid poll showed 41 per cent support for the NDP and 34 per cent for the Liberals. The Conservatives were at 10 per cent, the Greens at 12 per cent and others at three per cent.

The online poll, conducted for CTV and the Globe and Mail, was conducted Wednesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 2 among 808 B.C. adults. It claims a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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