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RSR ROBBINS Research - British Columbia Politics July 11, 2012
  Jul 11, 2012

Commentary - By Peter Kelly
Premier Christy Clark was said to take heart from the come from behind majority government win by the Alberta PC's over the upstart far right Wildrose Party led by Danielle Smith. Every poll showed the PC party trailing by at least 15 points, and would have knocked off a generational hold on power by one political 'institution'. But this is not Alberta and Christy Clark is (certainly) not Alison Redford. Worse, Clark is up against a far more formidable opposition in NDP Leader Adrian Dix than what the Alberta PC's faced in the Wildrose Party.
In the end, Alberta chose the devil they knew against the one they didn't know. In BC, the NDP has governed before - and while their former administration is cause for debate and controversy, they have run a government before and won elections. Rightly, the NDP in BC have a claim to be a legitimate governing alternative. The Wildrose was an offshoot of the extreme elements of the PC Party and far rightists that had no political home. Apples v. Oranges.
In BC, the bulk of the seats are in the lower mainland: the metropolitan area that encompasses all of Vancouver, its suburbs, and regional centres that are linked to Vancouver. Win the urban mass, win the election. In the past, the parties simply had to win a majority of seats in the lower mainland, hold its core areas, and that was their ticket to the governing side of the legislature. If these numbers hold up, British Columbians are looking at a complete wipe out of the BC Liberals from the area they need to win. I don't mean 'hang on to a couple seats', this sort of wipe out will have shades of 2001.
Christy Clark isn't doing herself any favours here. She tries to govern from both left and right at the same time, and does poorly from any direction; and continues to flail at the NDP. This is the political equivalent of a two front war; one that any 'general' would avoid because its known that it is a path that always leads to doom. Its failing on the BC Liberals because voters see how desperate the maneuvering is and no one is convinced that the party has any principles left to campaign on. Flailing the NDP only has so much political mileage nowadays. The former NDP government has been out of power for what will have been 12 years by the time the 2013 election rolls around. Youth barely old enough to vote in 2001 are into their 30's now and have children of their own - discovering what 12 years of BC Liberal policy means to the education system. They are ready for change.
Federally, the lower mainland used to have a different dynamic. It was the only stronghold of the federal Liberal party, with Reform/Alliance/PC parties nipping at the heels of team red from the outer rings of the suburbs. Well the advent of Jack Layton's passing and Thomas Mulcair taking the leadership of the NDP (and the floundering of the federal Liberals) has changed everything. The NDP are competitive in all areas of the lower mainland (that they're not already leading in). The next federal election could produce a stunning upset in areas the Tories thought they were safe. The upset however will be to watch the federal Liberals be further relegated to 3rd and 4th party status as non-conservatives begin a shift to the NDP. There is an unusually large percentage support level registered with the Greens and its hard to say at this point if it is a protest or not. Should this vote collapse, it will be interesting to see how the Greens split.
The Federal local scene isn't as lopsided as the provincial one is,and that is in part because the Liberal and Conservative parties that oppose the NDP simply do not have an affiliated provincial party that voters are angry with. Other way around: in 1993, voters in BC,Ontario and Saskatchewan were mighty upset at their provincial NDP government's and made the federal party cousins pay the electoral price. The warning is that if the BC NDP screw up royally, its Mulcair who will pay a price.

Question #1
Which B.C. provincial leader and party do you currently support? (Leaders and Party presented as 100%)
Adrian Dix and BC NDP    45.5 %
Christy Clark and BC Liberals    23.5 %
John Cummins and BC Conservatives    21 %
Jane Sterk and BC Greens    8.5 %
Other leader and party    1.5 %
Undecided    17 %
Question #2
Over the past year or so would you say that you have ‘gained confidence’ or ‘lost confidence’ in your B.C. provincial government? (Lost confidence and gained confidence alternated)
Gained confidence    9 %
Lost confidence    66.5 %
Can’t Answer/Undecided    24.5 %
Question #3
In your opinion are you receiving ‘above par’, ‘below par’, or ‘par’ service(s) for your tax dollars? (Response Choices NOT alternated).
Above par    14 %
Below par    54 %
Par    27 %
Undecided    5 %
Question #4
Should British Columbia’s liquor distribution Centre – presently government owned-be sold to a private company?
Yes    20.5 %
No    65 %
Undecided    14.5 %
Question #5
In terms of public safety would you prefer?
RCMP    20 %
Provincial Police Force    31 %
Local, City, Municipal, Police Force-    40.5 %
Question #6
In your opinion, if a referendum were held in the Province of British Columbia tomorrow, would you vote “Yes” to support or “No” to reject - The Province of Alberta, in conjunction with multinational oil companies, transporting crude oil from the area known as the Tar Sands in northern Alberta over British Columbia’s land mass and down it’s coastal waters, FREE of CHARGE?
Yes    8 %
No    71 %
Undecided    21 %
Question #7
Which federal leader and party do you currently support? (Leaders and Party presented as 100%)
Thomas Mulcair and federal New Democrats    32 %
Stephen Harper and federal Conservatives    26.5 %
Bob Rae and federal Liberals    23.5 %
Elizabeth May and federal Greens    17.5 %
Other leader or party    1 %
Undecided    23.5 %
Commentary
ROBBINS Top Twenty Support List - from all Responses- (#1 to #20 among British Columbians residing in the Lower Mainland of the province) Phase 1 Analysis:
“NO” on Referendum vote to free-of-charge transport of Alberta oil through BC land mass and down coastline; 2. “Lost Confidence” in BC provincial government over last year; 3. “NO” to privatization of liquor distribution; 4. Support for “Below Par Service(s)” for tax dollars; 5. Support for Local, City, Municipal Police Force; 6. Support for Adrian Dix and BC NDP Party; 7. Support for Provincial Police Force; 8. Support for “Par Service(s)” for tax dollars; 9. Support for Thomas Mulcair and federal NDP; 10. “Yes” to sale of Liquor Distribution; 11. Support for RCMP; 12. Support for Christy Clark and BC Liberal Party; 13. Support for Stephen Harper and federal Conservative Party; 14 Support for John Cummins and BC Conservative Party; 15. Support for Bob Rae and federal Liberal Party; 16. Support for “Above Par Service(s)” for tax dollars; 17. Support for Elizabeth May and federal Green Party; 18. Support for “Gained confidence” in Provincial government; 19. “Yes” on Referendum vote to free-of-charge transport of Alberta oil through BC and down coastline; 20. Support for Jane Sterk and BC Green Party.
ROBBINS Top Twenty Support List (Adjusted to reflect ‘Randomness’) Phase 2.
“Below Par Service(s)” for Tax Dollars; 2. Adrian Dix and BC NDP Party; 3. “NO” on Referendum vote to free-of-charge transport of Alberta oil through BC land mass and down coastline; 4. “Lost Confidence” in BC provincial government; 5. “NO” to privatization of liquor distribution; 6. Support for Local, City, Municipal Police Force; 7. Provincial Police Force; 8.Thomas Mulcair and federal New Democrats; 9. Support for “Par Service(s) for tax dollars; 10. Support for Christy Clark and BC Liberals; 11. Support for Stephen Harper and federal Conservatives; 12. Support for John Cummins and BC Conservatives; 13. Support for Bob Rae and federal Liberals; 14. Support for R.C.M.P.; 15. Support for Elizabeth May and federal Green Party; 16. Support for “Above Par” Service(s) for tax dollars; 17. “Yes” to sale of Liquor Distribution; 18. Support for Jane Sterk and BC Greens; 19. Support for “Gained Confidence” in Provincial Government; 20. “Yes” on Referendum vote to free-of-charge transport of Alberta oil through BC and down coastline.
Provincial Leader and Party averages from both Phase 1 and 2 ROBBINS Top Twenty Lists (lower average is best: Provincial and Federal NDP (6.25), Provincial and Federal Liberal (12.5); Provincial and Federal Conservative (12.5); Provincial and Federal Green (17.5).
From Phase 1 -- of 22 Response Options over 7 questions in this ROBBINS poll (exclusive of Undecided/Other Response Options), 10 Response Options are Leader and Party type, with 8 of these 10 specifically identified with an individual leader and party Response Option. Of the top 20 list of support for various Response Options including the 8 (40%) specifically identified Leader and Party type Response Options from both provincial (British Columbia) and federal (Canada) politics – only 2 of 8 make it into the Top 10 (25%/20%) List of support from British Columbian respondents residing in the Lower Mainland of the province, and both of these Leaders and Party are with the New Democrats.
From this ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) Poll - issues receive more Support from Respondents than Support for Leaders and Party do. The most significant support (#1) is British Columbians “NO” on Referendum vote to free-of-charge transport of Alberta oil. Support “Yes” for free-of-charge transport is ranked #19 –in phase 1 Top Twenty List and #20 in phase 2 of Top Twenty List – an average of 19.5 reflecting lower support than for Elizabeth May and federal Greens from phase 1 and phase 2 at 16, and equal to Jane Sterk of BC Greens.
There is plenty of evidence in the ROBBINS Top Twenty Support List(s) (Both Phase 1 and 2) - to affirm why the people in the province do not Support Christy Clark and her BC Liberal government. (#2) and (#4) on the List(s) is Respondent Support evidencing the fact that British Columbians have “Lost Confidence” in the Provincial government over the past year, (#4) (#1) Supports the fact that Respondents believe they are receiving “Below Par” Service(s) for tax dollars.
It is interesting that the BC Liberals proposal to privatize Government Liquor Distribution attracts the third highest response “NO” (#3) in Phase 1 and (#5) in Phase 2 – ‘rejection’ while Support for a police service that isn’t presently in existence attracts (#7) on the ROBBINS Top Twenty Support List(s).
Christy Clark’s problems go beyond being on the wrong side of the issues. As Leader and Party scores go she is in 3rd place of 8. The problem for her is that both the provincial and federal New Democrats are well ahead of her in popularity. The only affirmative position ahead of her for which she is responsible from Phase 1 Top Twenty List is “Yes” to sale of liquor distribution centre at #10, however after factoring for Randomness in Phase 2 - this same issue scores #17. Too many British Columbians in both Phase 1 and 2 believe that are receiving “Below Par” Service(s) for tax dollars, are thus not confident in Government and not available to stunts, public relations and other distractions. They have paid for steak and don’t want hamburger. The unequivocal rejection of Free-of-Charge transport of Alberta oil across BC’s land mass and down coastal waters – in light of the obvious fact that British Columbians are not pleased with the Services they are receiving for the tax dollars they are currently paying – suggests Christy Clark must get the Government of Alberta and Big Oil to put real dollars on the table for all British Columbians – not just First Nations groups – and get it done yesterday. Christy Clark doesn’t need Stephen Harper’s blessing as he has lower support than she does – and equal support to John Cummins BC Conservatives.
Breakdown of Leader and Party support is interesting. The 1st place BC New Democrats led by Adrian Dix attract (51.5%) support in the City of Vancouver, (56.5%) in the City of Burnaby, (51.5%) in the Cities of Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock, and (50%) in the Tri-City which incorporates: Anmore, Belcarra, Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Port Coquitlam. New Democrats score (32.5%) in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, (30.5%) in Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission, Langley (32.5%), Abbotsford (30.5%), Chilliwack (37.5%), and (29%) in North and West Vancouver.
Where the BC New Democrats are clearly in the catbird’s seat – and the BC Conservatives show signs of potential seats in pockets of the lower mainland – the BC Liberals are not really strong anywhere – they currently exist in the worst kind of political purgatory. Highest totals are in Langley (27.5%), Vancouver City (24.5%), Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock (24.5%), Chilliwack (27%), Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta (25%), North and West Vancouver (27.5%). Other totals include: Abbotsford (25.5%), Tri-City (21%), Burnaby (17.5%), and Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission (22.5%).
On the heels of the BC Liberals, the BC Conservatives attract (32%) in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, (30%) in Abbotsford, (30%) in Chilliwack, (30.5%) in Langley and (28.5%) in North and West Vancouver (including Squamish and Whistler), – and then numbers drop from there: (20%) in Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock, (18%) in both Tri-City and Burnaby, (20.5%) in Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge and Mission, and (13%) in the City of Vancouver.
The BC Green Party is still here: Vancouver (10%), Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta (8.5%), West and North Vancouver (11%), Burnaby (9%), Tri-City (8.5%), Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission (10.5%), Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock (8.5%) Langley (10.5%), Abbotsford (9.5%), Chilliwack (11%).
Based on these numbers, the BC New Democrats could feasibly win every provincial seat in the Lower Mainland of the Province. They are certain to win BIG – in Vancouver City, Burnaby, Surrey/New Westminster and the Tri-City – every seat there save for possibly 2 or 3. The BC Conservatives have a shot at winning seats in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, the Fraser Valley and North and West Vancouver, particularly if they have strong candidates with name recognition. It is entirely possible that the BC Liberals win no seats in the Lower Mainland – a complete wipe out. Their strongest chances are a couple in Vancouver City including BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark’s seat, a couple in Surrey/White Rock, one on the North Shore, Langley, and possibly another in the Fraser Valley.
On the federal scene Thomas Mulcair and federal New Democrats are following the success of their provincial counterparts. Vancouver support: (37%), Burnaby (36.5%), Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta (27.5%), North and West Vancouver (27%), Tri-City (35.5%), Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock (31.5%), Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission (26.5%), Langley (26.5%), Abbotsford (28.5%), Chilliwack (28.5%).
Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party support: Vancouver City (23%), Burnaby (23.5%), Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta (28.5%), North and West Vancouver (31%), Tri-City (33%), Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock (27%), Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission (30%), Langley (32.5%), Abbotsford (32.5%), Chilliwack (33.5%).
Bob Rae’s Liberal Party support: Vancouver City (31%), Burnaby (21.5%), Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta (23.5%), North and West Vancouver (24%), Tri-City (22%), Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock (23%), Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission (17%), Langley (21%), Abbotsford (23%), Chilliwack (17%).
Elizabeth May and Green Party support: Vancouver City (9%), Burnaby (17%), Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta (19.5%), North and West Vancouver (18%), Tri-City (9.5%), Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock (16.5%), Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission (25%), Langley (17.5%), Abbotsford (16%), Chilliwack (19%)
Support for the RCMP is low relative to the population Canada’s Mounties occupy in the Lower Mainland. Their support reflects just under 500,000 population while they occupy and control regions with population of far more than double of that. (13.5%) of Vancouver City respondents support the RCMP, (29%) in Burnaby, (24.5%) in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, (15.5%) in West and North Vancouver, (31%) in Tri-City, (24.5%) in Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission, (27.5)% in Langley, (9.5%) in Abbotsford, (28.5%) in Surrey and (31%) in Chilliwack.
Local, Municipal, City Police forces find support as follows: Vancouver (50%), Burnaby (37%), Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta (31.5%), West and North Vancouver (51%), Tri-City (25%), Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission (34.5%), Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock (33.5%), Langley (33%), Abbotsford (61%), Chilliwack (32.5%).
A new Provincial police force finds support as follows: Vancouver (31%), Burnaby (32.5%), Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta (36.5%), West and North Vancouver (27.5%), Tri-City (25.5%), Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission (32.5%), Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock (29%), Langley (30%), Abbotsford (27%), Chilliwack (28.5%).
Based on decided numbers for both provincial and federal Leaders and Party (up to 100%):
Adrian Dix and BC New Democrats attract (39%) more support in the City of Vancouver than Thomas Mulcair and federal New Democrats, (41%) more support in the City of Burnaby, (7.5%) in North and West Vancouver, (63.5%) more support in Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock, (40.5%) more in Tri-City, (18%) more in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, (13%) more in Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission, (22.5%) in Langley, (07%) in Abbotsford, and (31.5%) in Chilliwack.
Christy Clark and BC Liberals attract (28.5%) more than Bob and federal Liberals in Langley, --while Bob Rae and federal Liberals attract (26.5%) more than Christy Clark and BC Liberals in the City of Vancouver, Christy Clark/BC Liberals score (6.5%) more than Bob Rae/federal Liberals in Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock, (59%) more in Chilliwack, (6.5%) more in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, (14.5%) more in North and West Vancouver, (11%) more in Abbotsford, Bob Rae’s federal Liberals score (4.5%) higher in Tri-Cities, (26.5%) more in Burnaby, while Christy Clark and BC Liberals score (32.5%) higher in Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission.
Stephen Harper and federal Conservatives attract (77%) more support than John Cummins and BC Conservatives in the City of Vancouver, (14.5%) more in Burnaby, (5%) less in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, (8.5%) more in North and West Vancouver, (83.5%) more in Tri-City, (50%) more in Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock, (6.5%) more in Langley, (8.5%) more in Abbotsford, (11.5%) more in Chilliwack.
Christy Clark and BC Liberals attract (10%) less than John Cummins and BC Conservatives in Langley, (84.5%) more in the City of Vancouver, (36%) more in Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock, (12%) less in Chilliwack, (16.5%) less in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, (3.5%) less in North and West Vancouver, (15%) less in Abbotsford, (16.5%) more in Tri City, equal in Burnaby, and (12.5%) more in Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission.
Christy Clark and BC Liberals attract (57%) more than Elizabeth May and federal Greens in Langley, (272%) more in the City of Vancouver, (48.5%) more in Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock, (42%) more in Chilliwack, (48.5%) more in North and West Vancouver, (59.5%) more in Abbotsford, (221%) in Tri-City, even in Burnaby, (22.5%) more in Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission, (28%) more in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta.
Elizabeth May and federal Greens attract (10%) less than Jane Sterk and BC Greens in the City of Vancouver, (271%) more support in Burnaby, (11.5%) more in Tri-City, (229.5%) more in Richmond/Tsawwassen/Delta, (163.5%) more in North and West Vancouver, (238%) more in Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission, (165.5%) more in Langley, (194%) more in Surrey/New Westminster/White Rock, (173.5%) more in Abbotsford, (172.5%) more in Chilliwack.
A random telephone sample survey of 1,111 Respondents - residing in the Lower Mainland of The Province of British Columbia - including Greater Vancouver. This survey was conducted May 31, 2012 to June 9, 2012.
This survey reflects a Margin of Error (M.O.E.) of 2.98%, 19 times out 20 @ 95% confidence. Thanks to Jim Van Rassel for the Research.
THIS ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) pays tribute to Canadian Pollster Angus Reid - who inspired me to the public opinion - biz -.

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