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RSR ROBBINS Research - British Columbia Politics April 12, 2012
  Apr 23, 2012

Question #1
Which political party in British Columbia do you support at this time? (Party labels presented up to 100%)
BC New Democrats    45 %
BC Liberals    21.5 %
BC Conservatives    20 %
BC Greens    13.5 %
Undecided    15 %
Question #2
Which of the following scenarios concerns you most? (Up to 100%)
The likelihood of the BC NDP winning the next election in 2013    11 %
The possibility of the BC Liberals winning another term in office    72 %
The possibility of the BC Conservatives becoming the official Opposition    15.5 %
Undecided    12 %
Question #3
Does the idea of a BC New Democrat Super Majority following the May 2013 general provincial election concern you?
Yes    33 %
No    43 %
Undecided    24 %
Question #4
If you had to choose, from the following two British Columbia party choices (only) which political party do you support more?
BC Liberals    32 %
BC Greens    42 %
Question #5
The BC Government has $125 million that it can allocate to only one of the two areas provided below. Which would you choose? (Response choices to 100% except Undecided).
$125 million toward a solution to the BC Teachers strike    56 %
$125 million for the courts and justice system    22 %
Undecided    4 %
Commentary
If the recent by election success of the BC New Democrats in Port Moody Coquitlam and Chilliwack Hope, two previous BC Liberal strongholds-- have translated provincially – based on the results in this ROBBINS NewTrend poll – it suggests that the province is moving to the left and away from centre right alternatives. Nearly sixty per cent of British Columbians in this poll support either the BC New Democrats or the BC Greens.
BC Liberals speak of a coalition with BC Conservatives-which BCC Leader John Cummins rejects – and British Columbians in this poll seem to be saying a pox on your coalition – we might just give the BC New Democrats a Super Majority – and may consider the BC Greens as the Opposition. News media speaks of a brand new coalition with a new name. This poll suggests that John Cummins of the BC Conservatives need not respond to any of it.
The likelihood of a BC New Democrat win in May 2013 is acceptable to an overwhelming number of British Columbians who are not “concerned” by the prospect. The possibility of the beleaguered BC Liberals winning another term in office concerns the vast majority of B.C. voters. A BC Conservative Opposition after the May 2013 provincial election does not concern British Columbians.
It could be inferred from results from question 1 that a BC NDP win and a BC Conservative Opposition might satisfy B.C. voters anxious for relief, just so long as the BC Liberals are removed from ‘office’. If the argument around centre right coalition becomes too annoying for British Columbians watch for the BC Greens to possibly rise up and contest for second place. The idea of a BC New Democrat Super Majority increases concern among British Columbians but only nominally. Nearly one in two British Columbians would not be concerned by a BC NDP Super Majority.
British Columbians prefer BC Greens to BC Liberals and would prefer to spend $125 million of tax payer dollars on a solution to the BC Teachers’ strike than on solving funding problems in the BC Court system.
Christy Clark’s BC Liberals have a big problem – they aren’t popular and British Columbians want them to go away – out of office and out of mind. They aren’t respected, aren’t liked, and the vast majority of British Columbians have simply become exhausted with them. They have had their day in power – and now that that day has passed. Voters want to move on – tomorrow. The next year in Christy Clark’s life may be her worst experience in politics if she decides to stumble on as leader of the party. The worst reality they must confront is that money won’t buy them their way out of this political quicksand.
The BC Liberals have a bigger problem yet – there is a year to the next election—and the evidence of this ROBBINS NewTrend polls would suggest that over this year voter disgust with and depression from their current government may result in even less support for it, rather than any erstwhile prospect of a resurgence that Christy Clark would want to attempt to glamorize. The fear is that – a rejected Christy Clark will move toward scorching the earth (or let others do it) – if she and her party are dead anyhow –what difference does it make what they do? Taken to its logical extension – why not simply call the election for September 2012 – let the chips fall where they may – and rebuild—looking for someone outside the establishment ‘agency’ of political actors – a person few British Columbians have heard of – who has it all—-
…like former Canadian soldier/camera friendly/140 IQ – 6’4” 235 lb. - Kevin Berry.
Question 1 tells us that British Columbians not only want BC Liberals out of government – they don’t want them in Opposition either. They prefer the BC Conservatives to be Opposition. BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark says she leads the coalition “against the BC NDP” however the evidence in question 2 of this poll suggests that (just) better than one in two ‘decided’ British Columbian voters are not concerned with the prospect of a BC NDP Super Majority after the May 2013 general election – a majority of British Columbians aren’t sufficiently afraid of the BC NDP to warrant worry sufficient to motivate them to seek a coalition. This evidence with a year to go – is that the BC New Democrats will win a majority as overwhelming as the BC Liberal victory in 2001 when only two BC New Democrats won seats under then BC New Democrat leader Ujjal Dosanjh.
In Christy Clark’s version of a centre right coalition she leads it, a delusional provision at best – Voters don’t want her government or her to have anything to do with leadership in the province. The proverbial writing is on the wall – for Christy Clark and the BC Liberals. The so-called free enterprise coalition - if the argument can be made that it is necessary at all-- is likely better led by the BC Conservatives, who are ‘new’ and haven’t offended the Voters to any degree – *yet. (*See Wildrose Party in Alberta provincial election).
Although question 4 (BC Liberals v BC Green) may not seem to be as directly relevant as the other questions relating to the BC NDP, BC Liberals, and BC Conservatives popularity and the potential of coalition building on the centre right – the fact that BC Greens have historically been more of a sweet second than a firm first choice to most British Columbians – it is clear that voter dislike is so severe against the governing BC Liberals – that voters are now happy to proclaim support in higher numbers for the BC Green Party than they are for the governing BC Liberals in a one on one comparison. This poll may be the first evidence that this potential BC Green bump is intended more than just to make a point and relevant or not – question 4’s results are interesting in that they could provide insight to future political outcomes in the Province of British Columbia.
If $125 million were to be spent by the BC Liberals it is better spent toward solving the BC Teachers strike than solving apparent under funding in the BC Courts. BC Rail and payouts of 6 million to assist Basi Virk – has attracted mistrust and doubt towards not only lawyers, (who wrestle with this suspicion in apparent perpetuity), but also to the entire justice system including BC Judges with many British Columbians wanting to know “just who they are working for.” Once any element of the political system which is funded by the tax payer such as the courts comes under the scrutiny of “my tax dollars” – they have a public relations and political problem.
The BC Teachers Federation is not loved, but British Columbians are realistic – their children and grandchildren are subject to BC Teacher oversight for many years, and education is important to them. Most people don’t encounter the courts in their lifetime – and when they do the experience is seldom a positive one – there is no enthusiasm in adding money to the judicial mix – especially in light of PM Stephen Harper’s pledge to build more prisons when British Columbians want more enlightened responses to some ‘criminal’ activity or alternatively focus on stiffer sentences for bad eggs, not a 4 hour delay for a dozen other charged persons while lawyers and Judges determined if a Judge has an “adverse inference” against a person accused of a serious of crime because he evaded warrants for 6 months.
The political stench from the BC Rail Court case hurt the reputation of the court more then its operators and judiciary know – or are willing to admit. British Columbians are no longer comfortable with unelected people like Judges and others being granted so much power and authority without scrutiny or audit – it is a troubling persistence in Canadian political life---manifesting in as much mistrust and frustration with the court system in this province as with the BC Liberal government.
Methodology-A ‘strategically’ conducted telephone poll of 824 British Columbians who voted in the 2009 general provincial election in May 2009. This Poll was conducted April 17-22, 2012. This poll features a margin of error (M.O.E.) of 3.4% plus or minus @ 95% confidence. Outcomes were adjusted for gender. Regional breakdowns (raw data/decided {grossed up)): BC New Democrats: Vancouver Island (56%), Lower Mainland (44%), Fraser Valley (39%), North and Interior (40%). BC Liberals: Vancouver Island (17%), Lower Mainland (21%), Fraser Valley (25%), North and Interior (24%). BC Conservatives: Vancouver Island (14%), Lower Mainland (20%), Fraser Valley (25%), North and Interior (23%). BC Greens: Vancouver Island (13%), Lower Mainland (14%), Fraser Valley (11%), North and Interior (13%).
Graphs by Peter Kelly

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