A new poll from Angus Reid suggests that the New Democrats hold a 14-point lead on the BC Liberals on the eve of today’s radio debate among the party leaders.
While the gap between the two parties is three points lower than the previous Reid poll, conducted April 12 and 13, all shifts in party support are within the poll’s stated margin of error.
The latest online Reid poll found 45 per cent of decided and leaning respondents support the NDP, the same figure as the previous poll.
The BC Liberals received 31 per cent, up three percentage points from the earlier poll. The BC Conservatives received 11 per cent, down one point, and the Green party received 10 per cent, down three points. A further three per cent mentioned independent candidates or other parties.
The poll was greeted with media speculation about the reasons behind the changing numbers. However, with a stated margin of error of 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20, all the changes in party support could be the result of random chance.
Fifty-nine per cent agreed with the statement: “It is time for a change in government in British Columbia — a different provincial party should be elected into power.”
Twenty-five per cent agreed with the statement: “It is not time for a change in government in British Columbia — the BC Liberals should be re-elected.”
The four main party leaders debated on CKNW radio today, Friday, April 26.
The poll was conducted Wednesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 25, 2013 among 812 adult British Columbians selected at random from an Angus Reid online panel. For more about polling methodology, see this story.
“On which one of the following three items would you like to see the provincial government place the greatest priority over the next few years?”
Forty-six per cent of respondents replied “increasing funding for services such as health and education”; 35 per cent replied “reducing the provincial debt” and 15 per cent said “lowering taxes.” A further four per cent said they didn’t know.
The poll also asked: “If elected, how well do you think each of the parties would do at balancing resource development and environmental protection”?
Thirty-nine per cent said Adrian Dix and the BC NDP would strike about the right balance between development and the environment, while 29 per cent said the party would put too much focus on the environment.
Thirty per cent said Christy Clark and the Liberals would strike the right balance, while 49 per cent said they would put too much focus on resource development.
Fifteen per cent said John Cummins and the BC Conservatives would strike the right balance, while 35 per cent said they would put too much focus on resource development; 47 per cent said they didn’t know.
Twelve per cent said Jane Sterk and the Green party would strike the right balance, while 61 per cent said the Greens would put too much focus on the environment.
The poll was conducted Monday, April 22 and April 23, among 455 adult British Columbians drawn from a panel assembled by Ipsos. The company states a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20. For more on polling methodology and controversies, see this story.
Find Tyee election reporting team member and contributing editor Tom Barrett’s previous Tyee articles here. Find him on Twitter or email him.
A new election poll –- the second one released yesterday -– puts the New Democrats out front of the BC Liberal Party by 19 percentage points.
Although that gap is widely expected to narrow between now and the May 14 election, it is worth observing that only two B.C. elections in the past 40 years have been decided by more than 10 percentage points. (The BC Liberals won with a 36.1-point margin in 2001 and Social Credit won by 10.1-points in 1975.)
In today’s Ipsos Reid poll, 48 per cent of decided respondents said they would vote for the NDP if the election were held tomorrow. The Liberals received 29 per cent, the B.C. Conservatives 11 per cent, the Greens nine per cent and other parties, including independent candidates, received three per cent.
About one in five –- 19 per cent -– of all respondents to the online poll were undecided or had no preference.
The results are quite close to those of yesterday’s other campaign poll, from Angus Reid, which suggested a 17-point gap between the two leading parties. (The Ipsos figures represent decided voters while the Angus Reid numbers are for those who are decided and leaning.)
The Ipsos poll was conducted for Global TV between Thursday, April 11 and Sunday, April 14, among 800 B.C. adults drawn from an online panel. Ipsos states a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
As the provincial election campaign gets underway, a new poll suggests the New Democrats have a 17-point lead on the governing BC Liberals.
The Angus Reid poll doesn’t offer much good news for the Liberals. Some 61 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: “It is time for a change in government in British Columbia — a different provincial party should be elected into power.”
Only 22 per cent agreed with the statement: “It is not time for a change in government in British Columbia -– the BC Liberals should be re-elected.” A further 17 per cent were unsure.
Of those respondents who said they voted for the Liberals in 2009, only 46 per cent said the government should be re-elected.
Among decided and leaning voters, the NDP leads with 45 per cent support, with the Liberals at 28 per cent, the Green party at 13, the B.C. Conservatives at 12 and others, including independents, at three per cent.
A new poll suggests the NDP is ahead of the governing BC Liberals by 12 percentage points on the eve of the official kickoff to the May 14 election campaign.
The Ekos poll found a considerably smaller lead for the NDP than an Angus Reid poll taken in mid-March, which had the New Democrats ahead by 20 points. However, the Ekos numbers are little changed from the last Ekos B.C. poll, taken at the beginning of February.
The new poll, conducted April 3 to 10, puts the NDP at 39 per cent, the BC Liberals at 27 per cent, the BC Greens at 16 per cent and the BC Conservatives at 13 per cent among decided and leaning voters.
Among likely voters, the NDP lead grows to 17 points. Among those deemed most likely to actually turn out at the polls, the NDP receives 45 per cent, the Liberals 28, the Greens 11 and the Conservatives 13.
There’s a new poll from Angus Reid Public Opinion today that suggests the B.C. New Democrats are 20 points up on the governing Liberals.
The poll has the NDP with 48 per cent support of decided voters, the Liberals at 28 per cent, the Green party at 11 per cent and the B.C. Conservatives up two points at 11 per cent.
All changes from the last Reid poll, taken Feb. 21-22, are within the margin of error for a poll of this sample size.
The poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday of this week. Reid surveyed 809 B.C. adults drawn from an online panel. A sample of this size drawn at random from the general population would have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. (See note below.)
Here’s an updated chart of the polls taken so far this year:
Note: The sampling error margins given here are those provided by the pollster. While online polls have been very successful at predicting recent elections, there is a methodological controversy surrounding the citing of margins of error for online polls. Some experts hold that it is inappropriate to quote a margin of error for an online poll because participants in such polls are drawn from volunteer panels, rather than chosen at random from the general population. For more on this issue, see this story.
(I did a version of this item for The Tyee today that can be found here.)
With less than two months to go till the May 14 British Columbia provincial election, we can expect to see a wave of opinion polls. The most recent poll from a major public pollster suggests the NDP has a 19-point lead over the ruling Liberals.
As you can see, pre-election results have been bouncing up and down since the beginning of the year – something that tends to happen with pre-election polls. (Click graph to enlarge.)
Note: The sampling error margins given here are those provided by the pollster. While online polls have had a high level of success at predicting recent elections, there is a methodological controversy surrounding the citing of margins of error for online polls. Some experts hold that it is inappropriate to quote a margin of error for an online poll because participants in such polls are drawn from volunteer panels, rather than chosen at random from the general population. For more on this issue, see this story.
Libs and NDP sow fear of third parties siphoning votes. But political life is complicated. By Tom Barrett TheTyee.ca
We’re going to hear a lot about third parties and vote-splitting as we approach the May 14 election. That’s because everybody who knows anything about B.C. elections knows one big thing.
As a Young Liberal delegate said during last fall’s annual party convention: “The only time the NDP wins is when the free enterprise vote is fractured.”
The Liberals and Social Credit before them have been saying the same thing for more than half a century. When Martyn Brown was campaign director for the BC Liberals in the 2001, 2005 and 2009 elections, he worked that line like a government mule.
“It is a powerful argument, no doubt,” he has written, “one that I helped elevate to an art form in my long time in B.C. politics. It certainly helped elect Gordon Campbell’s three successive majority governments.”
There are, however, a couple of problems with the argument. For a start, as Brown now concedes, it misses the point by ignoring why people vote for third parties. It’s based on an outdated Cold War mentality. It also ignores how voters shift allegiance in elections. And it oversimplifies history.
As political scientist Norman Ruff wrote after the 1996 election — one of the key events in free enterprise vote-splitting mythology — “there has never been a monolithic free enterprise vote in British Columbia.”
It’s still too soon to write the Christy Clark Liberals off, but for some time they’ve been showing the signs of a coalition on the verge of a breakup.
One indication is the number of people who are telling pollsters that they voted Liberal in 2009, but would vote for someone else today.
Angus Reid Public Opinion vice-president Mario Canseco said in an interview that the Liberals have a retention rate of 66 per cent. That means one-third of self-identified former Liberal supporters say they are going to vote for someone else. (See main story.)
“Some of them go to the Greens, some of them go to the Conservatives,” Canseco said. But roughly half of the former Liberals who are going elsewhere are going to the NDP.
“That is the big issue that we are looking into as we get closer to the election,” he said. “If you continue to have that shift of BC Liberal voters for Gordon Campbell in 2009 becoming NDP voters for Adrian Dix in 2013, then it’s going to be very difficult for them to turn the numbers around.”
One ray of hope for the Liberals is their retention rate has increased from a low of 50 per cent in the fall of 2010, when Campbell quit. And the number of former Liberals who say they would switch to the BC Conservatives has dropped.
But not everyone moving away from the Conservatives is going back to the Liberals, Canseco said.
A brief, inherently dirty history, with video reminders of how low they can go.
By Tom Barrett TheTyee.ca
When Adrian Dix refuses to engage in negative campaigning, he is turning his back on a Canadian tradition older than Confederation. An early biographer of Sir John A. Macdonald wrote of an 1844 election in Kingston that “every editor dipped his pen in gall; every column reeked with libel. Those who had no newspapers issued handbills, that might have fired the fences on which they were posted.”
Politics became more polite over the years. But in the 20th century, television gave politicians a weapon far more powerful than Macdonald’s fiery handbills.
In 1964, the U.S. Democratic party aired what’s become known as the “daisy” ad. The ad, which communications scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson has called “arguably the most controversial ad in the history of political broadcasting,” played upon fears that Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater would start a nuclear war.
Designed by media sage Tony Schwartz, the ad showed a small girl standing in a field, pulling petals from a daisy. She counts the petals — “one, two, three, four, five, seven, six, six, eight, nine” — until she is suddenly drowned out by a robotic voice counting down a missile launch: “10, nine, eight…” The camera zooms in on the girl’s eye. A mushroom cloud fills the screen.
President Lyndon Johnson’s voice is heard: “These are the stakes. To make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die.”
The spot, which never mentions Goldwater by name, aired only once as a paid ad. But it was shown again and again by the news media.
The 1988 U.S. presidential election appears to have been a watershed in negative campaigning. “Never before in a presidential campaign have televised ads sponsored by a major party candidate lied so blatantly as in the campaign of 1988,” Jamieson wrote.
One of the most famous ads from that campaign showed a procession of scary-looking prisoners shuffling through a revolving door, as a voice-over claimed that, as governor of Massachusetts, Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis turned killers loose to kidnap and rape.
The ad was, to be charitable, misleading, but it helped sink Dukakis.
In recent years, Canadian campaigners have done their best to catch up to the Americans. Probably the best-known Canadian attack ad was the Jean Chrétien “face” spot, run by the Progressive Conservatives in 1993. Over a montage of shots that played up Chrétien’s facial paralysis, the ad suggested that Canadians may not want someone who looks like that representing us on the international stage.
The ad was pulled and is generally thought to have backfired, although some Tories insist that it was working.
The Liberals had some success with their own negative ads over the next few campaigns. But the Stephen Harper Conservatives took negative campaigning to a new level in 2007, when they began running attack ads aimed at the Liberals between elections — something that Canadian parties had rarely done before.
Almost as soon as Stéphane Dion was chosen Liberal leader, the Conservatives began a 20-month attack based on the idea that Dion was “not a leader” and “not worth the risk.”
The anti-Dion campaign included a website that featured a “pooping puffin” that crapped on Dion’s shoulder. It was pulled and Harper was forced to apologize.
After Dion flamed out in the 2008 election, the Conservatives used the same tactics against his successor, Michael Ignatieff. The new Liberal leader was “just visiting” Canada, the Conservatives informed us. He was a “citizen of the world,” who moved in “elite circles.” Not the kind of guy you’d meet at Tim Hortons.
A second wave of ads talked of Ignatieff’s “reckless coalition” and claimed he “didn’t come back for you.” Like Dion, Ignatieff was unable to tell a story that effectively countered the ads.