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RSR ROBBINS Research - British Columbia Politics Noember 28, 2011
  Nov 28, 2011

Question #1
Which political leader and party in the Province of British Columbia do you currently support?
Adrian Dix and BC New Democrats    41.5 %
Christy Clark and BC Liberals    30 %
John Cummins and BC Conservatives    18.5 %
Jane Sterk and BC Green Party    6.5 %
Other political party/Independents    3 %
Undecided/Can’t Answer    16.5 %
Question #2
The HST will require another year and one half to get rid of - according to government officials. Is this acceptable to you?
Yes    34 %
No    59 %
Question #3
The BC Government will apparently have to pay back some or all of the 1.6 billion to the federal government to get rid of the HST following the majority vote of British Columbians against the H.S.T. Which of the following responses if any BEST reflects what the provincial government should do now?
Get rid of the HST – it’s the will of the people    41 %
Keep the HST and reduce it to 10 per cent to save the 1.6 billion payment to the federal government    17.5 %
Keep the HST at 12 per cent    6 %
Keep the HST, reduce it to 10 per cent, and add the same exemptions that the PST had    27 %
Commentary
A pattern of popular support for leaders and parties in BC politics has emerged with the Opposition BC NDP clearly the frontrunner with just over 40 per cent support. The BC Liberals in government for over 10 years now with a new leader (Christy Clark) installed for less than one year have slipped dramatically (and emphatically) to 30 per cent. The difference between the BC Liberals at election time 2009 and now (16%) has gone to John Cummins and BC Conservatives. The BC Green party’s totals remain unchanged or slightly lower than they were after the last general provincial election.
In question 2 respondents clearly reveal their majority displeasure at the prospects of the H.S.T. lingering around for another year and one half. Over 60 per cent, a higher amount than the number that voted the tax out during the provincial vote months ago find this long delay unacceptable.
In question 3 however we discover some bargaining room over the H.S.T. with British Columbians quite far removed from the majority angst provoked in the preceding question (2). Of the five response options provided in question 3, one is the response option “Undecided”. Of the remaining four, three response options purport to “Keep the HST”, while one response option demands the government get rid of it.
45 per cent of decided respondents in question 3 demand the government “Get rid of the HST – it’s the will of the people”, while 55 per cent support one of the three response choices that support keeping the HST, two of those with conditions attached including lowering the HST and or bringing back exemptions that the previous PST included.
There is little doubt despite the high Undecided amount from question 1 that the BC Liberal government has lost significant support with the people of British Columbia despite installing a new leader in Christy Clark. Public opinion polling from all directions has confirmed this to be the case. This poll suggests that maintaining the status quo with the H.S.T for another year and one half could easily translate to a further erosion in support for the governing BC Liberals.
Although question 2 -- “The HST will require another year and one half to get rid of - according to government officials. Is this acceptable to you?”—reveals support for the current HST at 34 per cent, this is far below the recent Referendum vote total of 45 per cent. Since that vote Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have lost support from a previous 40 per cent to current totals of approximately 30 per cent. This apparent correlation/coincidence suggests that the HST continues to be a factor in the decline of public support for the governing BC Liberal Party.
What may be more ominous for the BC Liberal government is the fact that in question 3 only 6 per cent of respondents from a number of “Keep the HST” response options – saw fit to keep the HST at 12 per cent – precisely how it is today.
This poll strongly suggests that if the BC Liberals maintain the HST as it is, they could continue to lose public support over the weeks and months leading to the next mandated provincial general election in May 2013. It is my professional opinion that should the BC Liberal support falter to at or below 27 per cent, within the margin of error to what it is today, and the BC NDP support remain the same, that it is entirely within the realm of possibility that the BC NDP could win a majority government in 2013 of similar sweeping proportions as the BC Liberals did in 2001.
A random telephone sampling of 642 British Columbians residing the Lower Mainland of British Columbia between November 17-23, 2011. This poll reveals a margin of error of 3.87% plus or minus, 19 times out of 20 @ 95 per cent confidence level.

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