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BC NDP Leader Carole James KO's Campbell 'cold' in all station TV debate
  May 06, 2005

This is a random digit dialing of 1,220 respondents between May 3-5, 2005 throughout all regions of British Columbia. This survey is estimated to have a margin of error of 1.50%- 3.75%, 18 times out of 20 @98% competency.

Question #1
Did you watch the election debate on television Tuesday night May 3, 2005?
Yes    34 %
No    66 %
Question #2
Do you intend to vote on May 17, 2005?
Yes    67 %
No    33 %
Question #3
In your opinion who won the leadership debate on Tuesday May 3, 2005? (417 respondents)
Carole James    43 %
Adriane Carr    24 %
Gordon Campbell    22 %
None    11 %
Question #4
In your opinion did the Great election debate influence you by way of a fundamental change of your vote from one party before the debate to another party after the debate? (417 respondents)
Yes    11 %
No    85 %
Question #5
Based exclusively on the election campaign to date, and the leadership debate, which leader and party would you vote for on Election Day? (417 respondents)
Carole James and BC NDP    43 %
Adriane Carr and Green Party    17 %
Gordon Campbell and BC Liberal Party    30 %
Other    05 %
I probably won’t vote    04 %
Question #6
At this juncture in the election for which BC political party do you intend to vote? (400 respondents say “Yes” Question #2 minus respondents Question #1)
Gordon Campbell and BC Liberals    39 %
Carole James and BC NDP    40 %
Adriane Carr and Green Party    13 %
Other    08 %
Commentary
British Columbians who watched the TV debate on Tuesday May 3, 2005 are of the opinion that Carole James was the clear winner. British Columbians who did not watch the debate but intend to vote are inclined by a small margin to vote for Carole James and the BC NDP ahead of Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals.
British Columbians on Vancouver Island favour Carole James and the BC NDP in any circumstance. British Columbians who watched the debate in the Lower Mainland also choose Carole James over Gordon Campbell.
British Columbians were less inclined to watch the debate if they lived in the North and East of the Province, however amongst those who did not watch the television debate but intend to vote, Carole James is a marginal winner over Gordon Campbell in this region.
Insight- Pundits and talk show hosts were so busy ‘spinning’ for Gordon Campbell that they failed to see the ‘knock-out’ punch in the Great election debate. It came about when Carole James asked Premier Campbell to explain his actions and promises (which he will keep and which he won’t) to the television viewers. This revealed Ms. James ‘charisma’ and populist connection with people and exposed Gordon Campbell’s lack of ‘political humanity’. Mr. Campbell’s shortcoming has always been his inability to connect with the average voter and Ms. James exploited this very well knocking the Premier ‘out cold on his feet’.
According to this poll the mainstream media and all of the major television networks that provided the election debate are now confronted with the reality that they have presented upstart Carole James with an opportunity to steal the election from Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberal. The conspicuous consensus amongst the majority of those who watched the debate is that Carole James won. Ipsos Reid confirms this latter assertion by ROBBINS to a large extent.
Further, it is obvious that those British Columbians who watched the debate on television are far more inclined to vote in the upcoming provincial general election. This has furthered Ms. James advantage on Vancouver Island, more than equaled her standing with the Premier in the Lower Mainland and not detracted from her advantage in the majority of ridings in the north and eastern ridings of the province.
With the likelihood of the STV vote failing, the greater the likelihood British Columbians may take out their electoral frustration on the incumbent government.
The problem for the BC Liberals is the notion of unintended consequence. That is, how many voters who were previously thinking of voting for Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals and who are now so embarrassed and ashamed of his debate showing, the much less than stellar campaign approach, and re-awakened to what was in fact a very mediocre performance in government, that they will now vote for the Green Party?
This poll suggests a massive transformation in seats at this juncture of the campaign BC Liberals (35-42) BC NDP (37-42) Other- (1-5)

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